Austrian youth have launched a campaign to put Islam's minarets on Christmas decorations, including cards, in protest of the recent ban in Switzerland of all minarets in mosque, press reports said Wednesday.
The group managed to turn minarets into Christmas tree ornaments and even got minarets painted on season’s greetings cards, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported.
Little mosque figurines were also seen dangling from the ceilings in houses and cafes as colored paintings of mosques adorned the window glasses of several houses, the paper said.
Organizers of the campaign told the paper the idea first started with a small group but then, especially after they formed a group on social networking website Facebook, where they exchange their designs and discuss other ways to promote religious freedom.
“Every religious group has the right to freely practice its faith as long as it respects and coexists with other groups,” they said.
Although the group was originally formed by Austrian youths to protest what they saw as the racist practice of their “neighbor,” the campaign attracted many young people from Switzerland as well who wanted to reject the ban, which they considered a violation of human rights.
The Swiss members of the group have also introduced new peaceful ideas in response to the controversial poster that portrays minarets as missiles coming out of the Swiss flag.
Chocolates, cookies and pastries were made in the shape of minarets using nuts and coconut, usually basic ingredients of oriental sweets. The new deserts also smell of oriental flavors like cardamom, cinnamon and cloves.
The group said for Islamic minarets to join Christian festivities, a clear message is delivered that peaceful coexistence amongst different religions has never been as far-fetched as it might seem.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)