Benjamin Rosenbaum

Comments on "I cannot believe it"

Sadly, this does not surprise me at many, many levels. Welcome to discovering the dirty secret that Europeans can be just as much of a bunch of racist knuckle-dragging bigots as Americans. Effete elites, my ass.

Not so long ago the immigrants the Swiss were scared and disgusted of were us. Italians seems to have forgotten, but I haven't.

Posted by Anna Feruglio Dal Dan at November 29, 2009 05:00 PM

Oh, and the Left not doing anything about it? It is so bloody typical as well.

Posted by Anna Feruglio Dal Dan at November 29, 2009 05:01 PM

People tend to poll more tolerant than they really are... At least that's the explanation was given in the last US election for why Obama tended to poll better than he did in the actual primaries.

Posted by Ethan at November 30, 2009 02:43 AM

I think this effect was upset in the (Obama) general election, though... at least I remember articles beforehand saying "well, he looks like he's ahead, but remember the Bradley effect".

TSOR yields this article from

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at November 30, 2009 11:31 AM

Cosider instead the many Swiss who were probably perfectly comfortable voting for this without recourse to thinking of themselves as victims. German peoples are big into Ornung.

It's been quite a while since I lived in Germany, but I did live there. for a couple of years. Racism via building codes seems to me more an Ordnung thing than a faux-victimization thing -- much more distanced, and because of that perhaps more pernicious.

Posted by Kathryn Cramer at December 1, 2009 12:57 AM

Not buying it, Kathryn. At least not in canton Basel-land, which voted for the ban.

I saw your comment on Ellen's Facebook, Kathryn, to the effect that not all abusers think of themselves as victims, some merely think they are enforcing the law or doing good works, and in general I agree -- that is of course an important qualification.

But I'm here, and the whole tenor of every poster I've seen, everything I've read the SVP quoted as saying in the paper, is all based in hysterical fear of Islam. They honestly think that if they don't draw a line in the sand now they will be dominated by Muslims. They argue that they are not against religious freedom, they are preserving religious freedom by banning minarets -- because minarets are instruments used to take their religious freedom away.

See for yourself. It is all this paranoid fantasy. I know I am at risk of invoking Godwin's law, but really, the similarities to the 1930s terror of Jewish power over Germans, at a time when Jews were just exactly such a vulnerable, assimilation-hungry, and inoffensive population as Swiss Muslims are today, is just inescapable.

(I think they partly have to go there because I can't see anyone taking "minarets are unkempt and disorderly" seriously as an argument -- not even in Switzerland. We are talking about correctly filed building permits here, after all.)

Posted by Benjamin Rosenbaum at December 1, 2009 07:34 PM

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