On November 29, 2009, a referendum on minarets, and indeed on Islam, took place in Switzerland. The Swiss people voted overwhelmingly to prohibit the construction of new minarets. The vote signaled the culmination of at least two years of intense debate and campaigning in which religious liberty became a casualty to the growing fear among non-Muslims of the Islamization of Swiss society. The results took the European media and even some scholars by surprise as polls had predicted the ban's defeat. The ban was all the more surprising in light of the fact that Switzerland has only four minarets, and none of them are used for the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer.1 Switzerland did not appear to have a...

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