Movements against Islam in the public sphere have been occurring not only in France, but also all over Europe. In 2009, voters in Switzerland decided to ban the construction of minarets, an essential tower that accompanies the mosque to call Muslims to prayer. A startling 57.5% voted in favor of the ban.
According to Swiss officials and citizens, the reason behind this resistance is a fear of increasing Muslim political power. To them, the minaret is a symbol of political authority and shows a desire for Shariah law, the Islamic legal system, in Switzerland. However, for the Muslims, the minarets simply have spiritual significance, and while not necessary for Muslim prayer, are a key component of traditional mosque architecture.
As in France, this ban has caused constitutional issues, seeing as freedom of religion is also guaranteed in the Swiss Constitution. Switzerland may be taking this initiative in the interest of security, but the result seems to be growing segregation and hostility between the Muslim minority and the Swiss government.