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Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

How God Commands Religious Liberty: Islamic Minarets and Liberal Democracy

Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Event Recap

Boisi Center visiting scholar Gregor Scherzinger spoke on December 1 about the “minaret controversy” in his native Switzerland. Two years earlier, nearly 60% of Swiss voters had approved a national ban on the construction of new minarets in the country. Catholic and Protestant Church leaders voiced their disapproval, but often with disturbing ambivalence, defending religious freedom for Muslims while affirming the same Islamophobic stereotypes that referendum supporters employed. Since then, Sherzinger argued, religious groups have reflected on their complicity and some have re-committeed themselves to interfaith support.