Swiss government opposes minaret ban ahead of vote

The Swiss government is opposing an initiative to ban the construction of minarets at Islamic prayer houses in the country. The Federal Council recommended on Wednesday rejecting the ban when it goes to popular referendum in two months. The coalition government includes all major political factions except the right-wing Swiss People's Party. It is the strongest in the country and most supportive of the ban. The government says the proposal violates human rights and the Swiss constitution and would not help combat Islamic fundamentalism. Supporters of the ban say the minaret is a symbol of Muslim conquest that challenges traditional order in Switzerland. Many Swiss laws result from referendums.