November 29, 2009 on Sky News
GENEVA — Swiss voters approved a move to ban the construction of minarets in a Sunday vote on a right-wing initiative that labeled the mosque towers as symbols of militant Islam, projections by a widely respected polling institute showed.
The projections based on partial returns say Swiss swung from only 37 percent supporting the proposal a week ago to 59 percent in the actual voting.
Claude Longchamp, leader of the widely respected gfs.bern polling institute, said the projection contracted by state-owned DRS television forecasts approval of the initiative by more than half the country's 26 cantons, meaning it will become a constitutional amendment.
The nationalist Swiss People's Party describes minarets, the distinctive spires used in most countries for calls to prayer, as symbols of rising Muslim political and religious power that could eventually turn Switzerland into an Islamic nation.