In a vote deemed "a deep embarrassment for the government" of Switzerland by the New York Times, the Swiss have voted to ban the construction of minarets, and according to the Times of London, women played a large part.
Matthew Campbell of the Times reports that "prominent feminists" helped to lead the push for the minaret ban, deeming the structures "male power symbols," that represent the oppression of women. ""If we give them a minaret, they'll have us all wearing burqas," a woman named Julia Werner tells the Times, "Before you know it, we'll have sharia law and women being stoned to death in our streets. We won't be Swiss any more."
Though 57% of the Swiss apparently agreed, on some level, with Werner's xenophobic assessment, the AP reports that 300 people have already turned out for a demonstration over the vote, leaving signs that read "This is not my Switzerland," and "We're sorry."
Swiss Ban Mosque Minarets In Surprise Vote [AP]
Swiss Voters Back Ban On Building Of Minarets [TimesOnline]
Women Lead Swiss In Vote To Ban Minarets [TimesOnline]
Swiss Vote To Ban New Minarets [NYTimes]