Pipes: Swiss Referendum “A Triviality” but Will Have Beneficial Impact in Terms of Legitimating “Anti-Islamic Sentiment”

Daniel Pipes thinks the Swiss minaret ban is “a triviality” with limited practical impact. I agree. He also thinks it mostly serves as an expression of bigoted anti-Muslim sentiment. But the way he sees it, this is a good thing:

But on another level, the 57.5 to 42.5 percent vote represents a possible turning point for European Islam, one comparable to the Rushdie affair of 1989. That a large majority of those Swiss who voted on Sunday explicitly expressed anti-Islamic sentiments potentially legitimates such sentiments across Europe and opens the way for others to follow suit. That it was the usually quiet, low-profile, un-newsworthy, politically boring, neutral Swiss who suddenly roared their fears about Islam only enhances their votes’ impact.

He’s writing in NRO, and I can only think it’s fitting that the magazine that had the courage to stand up against Martin Luther King and voting rights for African-Americans should also take this stand. For non-repugnant commentary on this issue, I recommend Tyler Cowen.