Appease to Please
I Wouldn't Trust This Guy

What Do We Tolerate?

All Headline News:

A de facto ban on the construction of Islam-inspired architecture may be underway in a state in Austria, known for its far-right politics. Carinthia has a draft law that prohibits the building of mosques, minarets and similar designs that radically are different from the traditional genre of the place.

Kashmiri Nomad comments, sarcastically:

I think this Austrian city has got the wrong end of the stick. Do they not realise that it is only meant to be the Muslims who are intolerant of other faiths?

What do you think? Is it appropriate for Western society to halt the construction of a mosque if it will be architecturally grotesque or for any other reason?



Cities generally reserve the right to control what may be constructed on any given property - especially in the more restrictive nations of Europe, and in Canada. For instance, if I wanted to add another level to my house, I'd have to get approval from city hall. There's no reason (legally) why they couldn't restrict construction of certain buildings due to architectural quirks.

At the same time, this isn't really a restriction on religion, since nothing prevents them from building churches in a different design, nor is there any restriction on what the inside of the structure may look like. Hell, build yourself a warehouse and call it a Mosque - if nothing else, I guarantee you'll have more usable space.

Classical Liberal

I don't think it is a question of esthetics, it is a question of symbols. Some Occidentals are beginning to realize that minarets and such can be viewed by those that use them as symbols of dominance and power.

How tolerant must one be of the symbols of a movement that is trying to destroy and replace your civilization? Normally I'm all for free speech, but there are limits. In the middle of WWII, should someone have been allowed to put on a Nazi uniform and recite Mein Kampf in town square?

David Boxenhorn

I must agree with Kashmiri Nomad. If you make architectural (or other) standards, it has to be in a content-neural fashion. For example, it is okay to ban the call to prayer because it's noise pollution (which it is) but then you have to ban all similar levels of noise. Or you can set building standards on height, materials, or mandate a particular style, but you can't ban "Islamic" styles and claim to be a free country.

David Boxenhorn

(Forgot the t in neutral.)

Saul Wall

I would not want such restrictions misused (as a means of restricting Islam - restrictions do not combat ideologies) but there are some contexts where history or architecture dictate some restrictions. The appeal to history is already commonly over applied by municipalities to prevent "crass consumerism" AKA economic growth so why shouldn't Muslims also be inconvenienced.


I'm torn because on the one hand this is private property, and on the other hand, you have a matter of a foreign culture that is actively trying to use private property rights to undermine the host society's culture. I'm going to have to say that it is the right of Austria to restrict non-Austrian culture within its borders here. Europe is not like the United States. It is an ancient continent with distinct ethnic groups with their own languages, cultures and histories, and is not legitimately called a continent of immigrants like North America.

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