According to reports Swiss voters have supported a referendum proposal to ban the building of Islamic minarets.
More than 57% of voters and 22 out of 26 cantons - or provinces - voted in favour of the ban.
The proposal had been put forward by the Swiss People's Party, (SVP), the largest party in parliament, which says minarets are a sign of Islamisation.
The government opposed the ban, saying it would harm Switzerland's image, particularly in the Muslim world, however, voters worried about rising immigration - and with it the rise of Islam - have ignored the government's advice.
"The Federal Council (government) respects this decision. Consequently the construction of new minarets in Switzerland is no longer permitted," said the government in a statement, quoted by the AFP news agency.
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Last Updated ( Monday, 07 December 2009 08:51 )