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Contest for the most beautiful Minarets in Europe
Monday, 15 February 2010 20:46
The Swiss referendum, which banned the minarets, not only questions the presence of the Muslim minorities in the society but in reality is a severe blow to the Judeo-Christian traditions of tolerance and goodwill. The advocates of the ban disregarded the fact that Muslim communities have always participated actively and contributed in all areas of progress and development of the society.
The minarets as an integral part of the mosques have been very visible in the European landscape for centuries, going back to the times of Moors in Spain, Ottomans in the Balkans and more recently due to the arrival of migrants and refugees from Muslim countries.
The construction of mosques with minarets is important so that Muslim communities have equal rights in the country of their residence or citizenship. Forcing minority communities to do away with their religious and cultural heritage through a referendum is the worst form of democratic oppression. Muslim communities or for that matter any other religious or cultural minority has a right to practise their religion in peace and without majority interference.
To celebrate this peaceful co-existence, COJEP is proposing a contest to find the most beautiful existing Minaret in Europe through a photographic competition. The jury will be multi-cultural and multi-faith, with input from specialists in art, history and architecture.
The competition is to be launched on 15 February 2010 and will take 2 Months. The jury will determine the winners to honour the five most beautiful minarets in Europe during a meeting in Strasbourg on 19th April 2010.
The Danish photographer Ahmed Krausen will be the official photographer of the competition; he will take a series of photographs of the most beautiful examples in Europe.
COJEP International is a network in 15 European countries and is based in Strasbourg, France. COJEP also operates and works closely with intergovernmental organisations such as the United Nations, the European Parliament, European Commission, ODIHR/OSCE and OIC. It has conducted conferences, training seminars and meetings with the help of these instances, in their particular areas of competence and activity during the last three years.