Archive for November, 2009

It has been reported by Israeli Messianic Jewish pastor Israel Pochtar, that the Ashdod Police have just interrogated a sixteen year old Israeli citizen following a wave of attacks and persecution launched against the Beit Hallel Messianic Congregation in Ashdod. However he was not the perpetrator of an attack but the victim!

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Cross posted from Rosh Pina:-

It has been reported by Israeli Messianic Jewish pastor Israel Pochtar, that the Ashdod Police have just interrogated a sixteen year old Israeli citizen following a wave of attacks and persecution launched against the Beit Hallel Messianic Congregation in Ashdod. However he was not the perpetrator of an attack but the victim!

Yad L’Achim, an anti-messianic organization, has filed a police complaint against Beit Hallel claiming, they broke the law by holding a “missionary event for teenagers”. They based their allegations on the youth conference held at Beit Hallel where some youth in the congregation  invited some of their friends. Sixteen year old Dima shared his faith with his friends and ended up getting beaten up by them, resulting in surgery to correct his broken nose.

Dima, a very gifted guitar player, was summoned to the police station to give a statement, since he was one of the young people who invited some of his friends, via Facebook, to attend the youth night at Beit Hallel. When he was there and was answering questions, he was asked about his faith and how he came to be a believer in Yeshua. Dima stated that he  understands his faith, not as a different religion, but rather returning to his spiritual roots. He said “we’ve not converted to anything; we believe in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.” What started off as a series of questions quickly turned into a full interrogation behind closed doors, which ended with the police  taking his photo and fingerprints, treating him as though he was a criminal. When he was finally let go, the officer told him to stop “missionizing”, to which Dima replied: “I never started “missionizing”, I’m just sharing my faith!”

Such is the hysteria caused by groups like Yad L’Achim, surrounding Messianic Jews in Israel, that even a sixteen year old telling his friends what he believes can result in a serious physical attack. A sixteen year old minor can be taken in for questioning, (it seems without a laywer with him), by the police about a Facebook invite and end up getting criminalised for his faith and having the temerity to talk about it! We know that it can also lead to attempted murder as it the case of a fifteen year old Messianic Jew, Ami Ortiz and the mishloach manot bomb at Purim a year and a half ago.

It is hypocritical when it is Israeli teenagers that are the recent targets of anti-messianic hatred and violence, for groups like Yad L’Achim, to claim to be concerned about Israeli youth!

Pro-life advocates in Northern Ireland are celebrating a major court victory today as the Belfast High Court has ordered the recall of health guidelines that they said would have undermined and effectively overturned the province’s pro-life laws.

Monday, November 30th, 2009

By Hilary White

BELFAST, November 30, 2009 ( – Pro-life advocates in Northern Ireland are celebrating a major court victory today as the Belfast High Court has ordered the recall of health guidelines that they said would have undermined and effectively overturned the province’s pro-life laws.

Lord Justice Girvan found that the guidelines failed to deal properly with conscientious objection to abortion and counseling on abortion. The judge said the guidelines were open to misinterpretation, saying the language was “ambiguous” and left doctors and staff unclear as to what was expected of them. The judge said the guidelines needed to be absolutely clear, otherwise they represented “a trap to the unwary.”

Justice Girvan awarded court costs against the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.

Liam Gibson, Northern Ireland officer for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) said, “We hope that the department will now take seriously many of the concerns which were largely disregarded when the guidelines were being drafted.”

Pro-life groups argued in court that the guidelines failed to mention the fact that abortion remains a criminal offense in Northern Ireland. They said they were “misleading and legally inaccurate” and would have brought abortion on demand into the province by “bureaucratic stealth.”

SPUC had argued that it was wrong for the Department of Health to expect health care workers to give “non-directive counselling” to women considering abortion.

“It is simply extraordinary that a government department should have issued guidance on criminal legislation and not have once mentioned the victim of the crime,” Gibson said.

Bernadette Smyth, director of Northern Ireland’s leading pro-life group Precious Life, said, “The court decision today is a victory for our unborn children.” Precious Life ran a petition campaign calling for the withdrawal of the guidelines.

“Our assessment that the guidelines were legally and medically flawed has been vindicated. They were an attempt to change the interpretation of the law and would have effectively legalised abortion in Northern Ireland through the back door.”

That Britain’s 1967 Abortion Act does not apply in Northern Ireland continues to irritate abortion advocates who campaign ceaselessly to overturn the province’s law. Opposition in the province to abortion remains strong, however, from both the public and most political parties, including the Social Democrats, Labour Party, Sinn Féin, the Ulster Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party as well as the Catholic Church and evangelical Protestant groups.

In October 2007 a motion was passed in the Northern Ireland Assembly, tabled by MLAs Jeffrey Donaldson and Iris Robinson, that rejected the draft guidelines. Nevertheless, the status of the guidelines remained ambiguous for a year while pro-life groups launched their legal challenge.

It’s this Government, not the nuclear family, that’s falling apart

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I like these comments from George Pitcher over at the Telegraph:-

The traditional family structure of a mother and father raising children is doomed, according to the Government’s extraordinary new Family and Parenting Institute, headed by new chief executive Dr Katherine Rake. She’s using her first major speech in the post to warn against the “trap” of attempting to preserve traditional family structures through Government initiatives and is forecasting that the nuclear family unit will be history within a couple of decades.

Oh yeah? Really, Dr Rake? Do you personally know lots of families that are breaking up, forming into extended structures of step-parents and and children being looked after by uncles, aunts, grandparents and adoptive parents? Do you see loads of people at school gates collecting children who are not their own? Will we we see dramatic increases in the number of middle-class children spending this Christmas in homes that are not their own? Are the children we see at the supermarket not with their mothers and fathers?

No, of course not. Because this isn’t a middle-class problem. The big increases in family breakdown are among the marginalised, dispossessed and downright poor, the very people that a Labour Government should have been committed to serving for the past dozen years, while it chased rich friends, vainglorious wars and “eye-catching initiatives” for Tony Blair personally to be associated with. It presided over an artificial house-price boom that committed many young couples to both having to work, rather than choosing to work, to meet arduous mortgage commitments that larded the financial services industry. And a benefits system that disincentivised the unskilled to work at all. It played soft on drugs and security in sink estates. It encouraged young mothers not to marry through the benefits and tax systems. It allowed fathers to abandon their responsibilities through lax custody laws.

Dr Rake is simply trying to make a social excuse for Government failings, suggesting that this is a social trend which has nothing to do with government. She is also trying to pre-empt any proposals that the Opposition may have for the fiscal encouragement of family life. How the Government must wish that the nuclear family is finished, to let it off the hook of having provided little or no policies for the poorer examples of it.

But there’s nothing wrong with family life. Families aren’t falling apart as fast as this Government is, despite its best efforts to destroy them. Families have been around since we came down from the trees. I predict that the nuclear family will still be here long after the Family and Parenting Institute and its superannuated executives are long gone. And I very much hope that Dr Rake is spending more time with her family by the spring of 2010.

The Most Anti-Religion Book Ever Published

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I absolutely loved this post from Mariano over at the Atheism is Dead Blog:-

Here at Atheism is Dead we have referenced and discussed very many books; some pro theism some contra theism and pro atheism some contra atheism some betwixt.

Yet, there is one anti-religion book that surpasses them all by far—very, very far.

Yes, there is one anti-religion book in particular that I have been aware of for some time but have, frankly, not developed the intestinal fortitude to tackle.

This book is so very anti-religion and makes such cutting statements against religion that, when discussing such matters, it is often all but ignored by both atheists and Christian apologists.

As powerful and destructive of the whole concept of religion as this book is it will, at some point, have to be tackle by someone.

I am not even writing this post as an announcement of triumph over the book’s arguments but merely to all but admit utter flummoxed defeat. It surely requires a mind much, much sharper mine to tackle this book. Compared to what is surely required to overturn this book’s attacks upon religion my mind is about as sharp as a Nerf ball.

This “book” is actually a volume which consists of the thoughts of one conceiver and was penned by 40 authors. Thus, the volume actually consists of 66 books.

This book typically goes by the title: The Bible.

Here are some examples of the Bible’s anti-religion statements:

This people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, and their reverence for me has become routine observances of the precepts of men (Isaiah 29:13, Jesus quotes this verse in Matthew 15:8).

Has the LORD [as] [great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, [And] to heed than the fat of rams (1st Samuel 15:22).

“To what purpose [is] the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the LORD. “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams. And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats…Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting…Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow” (see Isaiah 1:11-17).

For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings (Hosea 6:6, also see 2:11; 4:6).

The Psalmist addresses God thusly,

Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened. Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require (Psalm 40:6).

For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; you do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise (Psalms 51:16-17).

To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice (Proverbs 21:3).

…to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mark 12:33).

There actually appears to be one favorable reference to religion in the Bible and it is when it is defined thusly,

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27)

But wait a minute; did not God Himself establish the Jewish religion and the Christian religion? Did not God promulgate the 613 commandments (which a Jew never had to keep) many of which prescribe religious ordinances? Did not God ordain baptism, communion, etc.?

Therefore, God established and later besmirch religion!

This would be a good emotive/polemical point yet, overly simplistic and caricatured.

Christians, when allowed the privilege of defining themselves, have long stated that Christianity is not a religion but a relation—a relationship with God.

Judaism is to be considered a peoplehood, people who traditionally held to certain tenets. Let us consider some Jewish history.

When God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (and I have yet to read anything by any atheist condemning Egyptian slavery) God was building up a nation from the ground up. The Israelites were institutionalized due to four centuries of slavery. They were freed and had to be provided a premise upon which to be build into a nation.

This premise was the God, their God, the one true God, the one who defeated the Egyptian gods had freed them and was making them into a nation, a people—recall that God stated, “against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment” (Exodus 12:12).

The Israelites agreed to abide by God’s laws and live according to them in their nation. In order to break their institutionalization God provided them guidelines that would place their attention where it belonged—on God.

The modern day environmental movement, even the most extreme sorts, present us with a good example of what the Law, the Torah, was meant to accomplish. The environmentalists hold to a save the Earth worldview. This means that everything they do, purchase, utilize, eat and discard is filtered through the question: how will this affect the environment?

Likewise, everything that the Israelites did was filtered through the question: how will this affect my relationship with God? Or, what has God said about this? Or, do I choose my own will or God’s? Or, some such question.

The Torah was meant to function as building blocks or a staircase that was meant to build the Israelites from institutionalized slaves to free agents who learned thesis and antithesis thinking, discerning, deciding, reason, etc.—recall that it was God who stated, “let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). This is why the Jews have considered illiteracy to be a sin and have always been known as academicians, scholars, intellects, scientists, jurists, etc.

There came a time when the Israelites were performing rituals robotically. They seemed to forget that the spirit of the law was the surface upon which the letter of the law was written. You may have heard about a Shabbat Goy; this is a Gentile whom a Jew may get to perform certain tasks that are unlawful for the Jew to perform during the Sabbath. Thus, the Jew could still get what she wanted accomplished during the Sabbath but not be technically performing those functions herself.

Nationally, the Israelites had reached the point of forgetting what the rituals meant, what they were conveying, to what they pointed, their ultimate purpose and were simply jumping through ritualistic hoops. This, at this level, at this point, really is what is commonly termed “religion” and it is condemnable—God condemns it.

The rituals were meant to symbolically represent one’s relationship to God (as well as the coming Messiah for example). They were meant to enact a change from institutionalized slaves, to people who could daily make various decisions for themselves via laws and rituals, to ultimately changing the persona.

Thus, God emphasizes to them that He wants and what is wrong with “religion”:

They are merely going through the motions whilst “their hearts are far from me” and they are merely following “the precepts of men.”

God emphasizes that to obey and heed is better than sacrifice. What is the point of the performing the sacrifice if it is merely the performance of a religious duty—quite literally; merely a performance?

Just what is the point? “Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.”

Why? Because God “desire[s] mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.”

Judaism has long known that the commandments in the Torah where temporary and that the Messiah would fulfill them.

The Gospel message was given to the first two people who ever lived and thus: it has always been in the ever since. In Genesis 3:15

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.

This is known as the protoevangelium and it denotes that the seed of the woman (note: not the seed of the man) will crush the serpent’s (symbolic of satan) head (ultimate defeat) while satan bruises the seed’s heel (a strike, not defeat). Thus, the belief in the ultimate redeemer has always been known and is in the most ancient knowledge of the ancient peoples.

Don Richardson conducted some interesting research in the area and published a book entitled: Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World

Note Rabbi Saul of Tarsus, aka Paul the Apostle’s condemnation of the trappings, and I mean literal traps, or religion gleaned from Colossians ch. 2:

Beware lest anyone cheat you…according to the tradition of men…So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Let no one cheat you…taking delight in false humility and worship of angels…if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

Or consider what he stated as gleaned from Galatians ch. 4:

…when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? You observe days and months and seasons and years.

Thus, ritual was meant to be indicative. Paul, notes this in stating,

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or Sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ (Colossians 2:16-17).

Thus, let us keep in mind that when anyone besmirches “religion” they are merely seconding the Bible and God Himself. Indeed, religion, the sort against which atheists and various anti-Judeo-Christians rail is the very same religion against which God rails—and He was first.

Christian loses sex therapy case appeal for unfair dismissal – Christian Gary MacFarlane, 47, was sacked by marriage guidance service Relate after he said he could not do anything to promote gay sex.

Monday, November 30th, 2009


A relationship counsellor from Bristol who refused to offer sex therapy to gay couples has lost his appeal for unfair dismissal.

Christian Gary MacFarlane, 47, was sacked by marriage guidance service Relate after he said he could not do anything to promote gay sex.

Mr MacFarlane, who is a former church elder, was appealing on the grounds of religious discrimination.

He alleged Relate had refused to accommodate his religious beliefs.

Mr MacFarlane started training with Relate in May 2003 and said he enjoyed good relationships with clients and colleagues.

He was suspended after meetings with his manager, in October 2007, in which he claimed he was asked to state his views regarding same-sex couples.

After the suspension was lifted he said he was labelled a “homophobe” and, following a further disciplinary hearing, was dismissed on March 18.

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Analysis from Christian Concern for our Nation:-

CHRISTIANS in employment in the UK will no longer be able to act according to their consciences – after a landmark Employment Appeal Tribunal case which declared the rights of homosexual couples trump those of people of faith and conscience.

France’s FM Bernard Kouchner condemns Swiss minaret ban & In Marseille, unease over mosque project

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I really enjoyed these two following contrasting headlines, relating to French attitudes on Mosques:-

BBC – France’s foreign minister has condemned Switzerland’s referendum vote to ban the building of minarets.

The Washington Post – In Marseille, unease over mosque project – Plans stoke debate about identity and assimilation in French city with growing number of Muslim immigrants

You have to laugh!

Will the Third Temple be built next year? According to a centuries-old rabbinical prophecy that appears to be coming true, on March 16, 2010, Israel will begin construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

Monday, November 30th, 2009

I found this small article from Israel Today quite interesting:-

According to a centuries-old rabbinical prophecy that appears to be coming true, on March 16, 2010, Israel will begin construction of the Third Temple in Jerusalem.

During the 18th century, the Vilna Gaon, a respected rabbinical authority, prophesied that the Hurva Synagoge in Jerusalem, which was built during his day, would be destroyed and rebuilt twice, and that when the Hurva was completed for the third time, construction on the Third Temple would begin.

The Hurva Synagogue was first destroyed shortly after its initial construction when Muslims demanding the return of loans tore it down. The synagogue was rebuilt a hundred years later and became the most important Jewish house of worship in the Holy Land, only be blown to pieces by Jordanian troops during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.

In 2001, Israel finally decided to rebuild the landmark, which today stands in the center of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City. The building is scheduled to be completed and the Hurva Synagogue dedicated for the third time on March 15 of next year.

The New Thing of God

Monday, November 30th, 2009


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Defending free speech at the United Nations – The proposed UN Defamation of Religion by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is dangerous!

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

A timely reminded from the Jerusalem post

Freedom of speech is under physical and legal threat not only from terrorists but also at the UN. Two US-based Islamists planned to kill a cartoonist and the editor of Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten responsible for publishing cartoons depicting Muhammad in 2005, it was revealed a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, at the UN, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) delivered another blow with a resolution on “combating defamation of religion,” which was passed by a committee of the UN’s General Assembly on 12 November.

While the tactics employed by terrorists and the OIC are obviously different, the purpose is essentially the same: to ensure that criticism of Islam is censored. And it is working.

Following news of the foiled attack against Jyllands-Posten, leading Danish newspapers refrained from reprinting the Muhammad cartoons despite doing so last year when another attack on the cartoonist was foiled. While the editors have explained this omission as a matter of “responsibility,” fear would seem more likely. That was, after all, the reason why Yale University chose to omit pictures of Muhammad in a book called The Cartoons That Shook the World. Thus, grotesquely, a book dedicated to investigating “the conflict that aroused impassioned debates around the world on freedom of expression, blasphemy and the nature of modern Islam” does not contain the very cartoons which were at the core of the book’s subject matter.

From Salman Rushdie to Jyllands-Posten, death threats have had a chilling effect on discussion, let alone criticism, of Islam.

The efforts to ban criticism of Islam through human rights law at the UN are not yet legally binding but they are making progress.

The OIC has been successful in passing numerous resolutions on defamation of religion at the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council. The latest from March 2009 states that “defamation of religions is a serious affront to human dignity leading to restriction on the freedom of religion.”

IN GENEVA, the OIC is working on the adoption of a legally binding instrument that would oblige member states to prohibit criticism of religion. In an explanatory letter of October 29 the OIC said that in Denmark and the Netherlands the personality of Muhammad had been ridiculed with intent to “violate Muslim sentiments” and, therefore, “the contention thathuman rights standards should apply only to individuals is not credible.”

The concept of defamation of religion thus turns human rights on their head by protecting abstract religions and ideas from criticism by individuals, rather than protecting individuals from oppressive dogmas. While the Western states at the UN have weakly complained about the concept of defamation of religion, the relentless efforts of the 57-member OIC and its allies have got the votes. Too often Western states have entered into seemingly harmless compromises that really serve as a way of chipping away at the concept of free speech bit by bit.

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Swiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets, official results show. The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People’s Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which says minarets are a sign of Islamisation.

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Before anyone complains about this vote, which undoubtedly many will, they should note reciprocal Christian freedoms in Islamic nations. Check out how many Cathedrals and large Church structures grace the Islamic skyline and yet hardly anyone in the West bats an eyelid, because, this is the Muslim way!

Analysis from the most excellent Cranmer Blog

Cranmer has received quite a few emails about the decision of the Swiss people to prohibit the construction of any more minarets (there are just four in the entire country). He was not going to comment on the matter because, for the (former) life of him, he cannot work out what all the fuss is about.

The poster campaign showing minarets as missiles was undoubtedly provocative and offensive. Switzerland is a democracy which permits freedom of speech and freedom of expression, so get over it.

The Muslim community there makes up 400,000 out of a total population of 7.5 million people. They are justifiably dismayed by this decision, but Switzerland is a democracy which is governed by the ballot box, so get over it.

Muslims may feel alienated, ostracised and defamed by this decision, but 57 per cent of Swiss voters have expressed their view, so get over it.

The Swiss government and parliament had rejected the ban as unconstitutional, but their people have decided to the contrary. In a true democracy, it is the people who decide which powers to lend to their governments, and the people have spoken, so get over it.

Apparently, the ban is a ‘far-right’ initiative of the Swiss People’s Party. This is appalling. How dare any ‘right wing’ (let alone a ‘far right’) party articulate any view with which as many as 57 per cent of an entire population might agree.

And Cranmer is equally appalled that 22 out of 26 cantons voted to ban the minarets: what does this say about the backward, unenlightened, extremist, xenophobic Swiss and their outdated, medieval views, their contempt for human rights and the tyrannical propensity by which they oppress the minorities who dwell among them?

Switzerland is not a member of the EU and so not subject to its courts. Were it to be so, there is no doubt that the democratic will of the Swiss would be overturned with the stroke of a pen by the assertion of an ‘equality’ directive: after all, if the Christians can have their spires, why should the Muslims not have their minarets and the Jedi their death stars? But this is a local planning matter, and mosques and minarets are no more a prerequisite for the practising of Islam than church buildings and spires are for Christianity. There is no ‘phobia’ or ‘religious hatred’ in the decision: for the Swiss, this is not simply about the construction of minarets, but the realisation that each one may lead to an amplified call to prayer, and each amplified call to prayer the universal proclamation five time a day of the omnipotence of Allah and the uniqueness of Mohammed his prophet. And so the matter is both political and religious; material and spiritual; planning and prophetic.

Was Switzerland right to ban the construction of minarets?

Cranmer is not Swiss: it is not for him to say. But Calvin would undoubtedly have thought so. And the people of Switzerland have in any case spoken. They still possess and inhabit a democracy.

Is their intolerance un-Christian, unenlightened or undemocratic?

Possibly, maybe, yes and no. But who are we to judge?

And the Gates of Vienna Blog

The Swiss people went to the polls today in a referendum on the banning of minarets in Switzerland.

By the time they voted, they were well aware of the stakes in the issue. If they voted to approve the minaret ban, they would certify themselves as “racists” and “xenophobes”. They would show that hate and intolerance had won. They would be identified as worthy heirs of the Third Reich.

Yet, despite all of that, despite the pariah status that awaited them, the Swiss people voted overwhelmingly to approve the minaret ban.

So what happens next? What can the “world community” do to teach Switzerland a lesson?

If it were a member of the European Union, the solution would be easy. The example of Austria a few years back shows how the EU handles a member state whose internal politics violate the sensibilities of the bien-pensants in Brussels.

But Switzerland is a tougher nut to crack. Will the OIC call on its member states to boycott cuckoo clocks and watches? Will the jet set give up their skiing holidays in Switzerland? Will the rich and powerful close their numbered Swiss bank accounts and put their money elsewhere?

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