International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Banning the construction of minarets in Switzerland and how was it interpreted within the British Newspapers: An Analytical and comparison essay between English and Arabic Articles

Asaad Al Muqaimi

 

Abstract

This essay highlights one of the controversial issues related to European Muslims and their demands that are seen to be incompatible with European liberal democracy; for example, Switzerland is the first country to ban the construction of a minaret. The following questions will be addressed: how this topic is seen among British newspapers in both Arabic and English, as well as where similarities and differences arise between Arabic and English newspapers; where the problem lies in this case; to what extent this study confirms some social theories, such as theories of risk societies and clash of civilisations. To answer these questions this study dealt with a collection of Arabic and English British newspapers and compares their attitudes toward the issue at hand. They agree that fear of Islam and the far right wing parties are the main problem in Europe and in Switzerland particularly. The Arabic articles regard the image of Islam and Muslims within European discourse as one of the most important points that affect Europeans and shape their views towards Muslims, which translates the larger number of supporters for the ban of the minaret compared with those who are against the ban. The English articles; on the other hand, criticize European policy that is still unable to integrate Muslims into their societies. Swiss direct democracy was one of the topics on which both articles agreed, as it was criticized strongly among articles in both Arabic and English.