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  1. There is, of course, the minaret debate

    A minaret is a tower, traditionally part of a mosque, with a balcony from which a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer. In Switzerland only the mosques in Geneva and Zurich have a minaret, neither used to call for prayer.

    Last year planning permission for minarets in Wangen in northern Switzerland and in Langenthal, canton Bern, were rejected, but the Federal Court finally gave the go-ahead last week to the Wangen project.

    The initiative launched by the People’s Party Zurich section last August said minarets symbolize an “expansionist, aggressive religion”.

    The national campaign to ban the construction of minarets, launched in May, will attempt to raise 100,000 signatures by November 2008 to force a ballot.

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