Immigration, Islam and Minarets.
(from The Economist)
It is interesting to note that once again perception matters more than reality :
Roughly 10% of peope in Britain are imigrants; the average Briton believed the
figure to be 27%.
It is too bad Switzerland was not part of the poll, given their recent vote for the ban on building Minarets, it would be interesting to analyze their views (although polls did not predict the vote).
The Minaret question is linked to the immigration in Europe. It has been the center of discussion in the rest of Europe this week, fueled by far right-wing parties.
However, it does not seem to catch on in France. As for the United-States, I have seen a few more or less large mosques with Minarets in large cities but I don't think that they have ever caused controversy. (although the number of Muslims in the U.S. is smaller, compared to the population and also of different socio-economic background than in Western europe)
It must also be noted that there is already about a dozen Minarets in France, compared to four in Switzerland. The oldest one was built in Paris in 1922 with the Great Mosque of Paris "as a sign of France's gratefulness to the Muslim tirailleurs from the colonies who fought against Germany" during WWI. No Minaret in Europe is used for the prayer call, they have no purpose other than architectural. (interestingly and somewhat paradoxially the first Minarets were originally inspired by Christian churches)
Islamic Center of America, Dearborn, Michigan.