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I can totally see and understand Nastya’s point of view. I travel a lot and when I happen to be going to a country I have never been to I read up on the country and their cultural do’s and don’ts so that I know what to expect when I go there. Yes, there are things that I find odd but I have no right to complain or to criticise, I chose to go there of my own free will.  I also have to abide by their laws and regulations. I am a guest in their country and a diplomat for mine. When I am in Montreal in the summer I see quite a few menaqabeen (women veiled from head to toe) and have often heard them make comments about the way the Montrealers dress. Who is she to say anything?  They knew where the y were moving to and what the people were like.  If the country and it’s people are so against her beliefs, why move their in the first place?  This reminds me of a case in Australia where a menaqaba refused to take of her Neqaab to have her picture taken for her driver’s license because she claimed it was against her religion to reveal her face, the same woman later caused a traffic accident and was taken to court and insisted on being tried under Share3a law and wanted a female judge, lawyers, bailiff and guards in the courtroom if she was to reveal her face. (!??!!??!?!!)

Islam teaches tolerance and yet, very few of the muslim countries do. For example, in Saudi Arabia there are a great number of expatriate who reside there, they may  practice their religion in the privacy of their own home, but they aren’t allowed to build a church,  so that they may go and worship in their house of God. Please don’t use the argument that it is the birth place of Islam and that it should be the only religion practiced there, that is not a legitimate excuse. Other countries of the world, where other religions originated from don’t prevent muslims from building mosques and practicing their religion. They even allow people of other religious faiths to enter their places of worship so that they may learn about their practices, traditions and customs and yet no persons other than Muslim’s are allowed to see or visit Holy Muslim Religious sights.( I have been told that it has been written in the Quraan, that is forbidden for no one other than muslims) , How can we break the ‘terrorist’ and ‘fundamental’ stigma that has been painted by those who tarnish the name of our religion?

(In Egypt’s defence I have to say that there are Churches, Mosques and synagogues. The synagogues are not as active as they used to be compared to let say 80 years ago,  that’s because a very small minority of Jews remain in Egypt.)

Don’t even try to accuse the Swiss of prejudice or discrimination either, they haven’t prevented mosques from being built or decreed that Muslim’s can not practice their religion.

In all honesty, we as Muslim’s do not have the right to point a finger at the Swiss for wanting to ban the call for prayer from the minarets. If I am not mistaken the noise sounded from the minarets is what would be called in some countries as ‘disturbing the peace’. It is their country and they have the right to ask for the mosques not to belt out the call for prayer. They are not closing mosques and they are not preventing Muslim’s from practicing, they are just asking for the 4.5 % of Muslims their to respect their need for peace and the majority of the Swiss population are not Muslim, so do they have to know when it’s ‘our’ time to pray?  Don’t even think of suggesting that the Muslims there won’t know when prayer time is, or that  they will forget to pray. If  that is the case then they can set their alarm for when it’s time to pray, have a radio or a tv station that sounds the call for prayer, there is a solution.

I am a Muslim and I love the sound of the call to prayer (when it’s done correctly),  I miss it when I am away, but we have to remember that when we immigrate or visit other countries they are under no obligation to change their way of life, customs, traditions or laws to suit us. It is we who have to adapt to their customs while holding on to ours.

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