Delegates from right-wing populist parties from across Europe are descending on Germany this weekend for a conference looking into the possibility of an EU-wide minaret ban. The hosts, an anti-Muslim German group, hope to use the gathering as a springboard to success in local elections.Von Charles Hawley
A small Muslim community in a western German town would like to build a minaret on its mosque. But the plan has triggered passionate opposition from locals, many of whom rely on rhetoric from the extreme right in railing against the "symbol of Islam's quest for power."
Switzerland's recent vote to ban the construction of new minarets has shocked and angered Muslims around the world. But the controversial move also reflects a growing sense of unease among other Europeans who have trouble coming to terms with Islam's increased visibility.Von SPIEGEL Staff
Leading Turkish-German director Fatih Akin has said he will boycott the Swiss premiere of his new film as a protest against Sunday's referendum vote to ban the construction of minarets in the country. He complained that the Swiss ban contradicted his belief in the "harmonious co-existence of peoples."
Us against them. That is how Europe's right wing sees the Swiss ban on minarets. After all, so goes the logic, Christians in the Muslim world aren't doing any better. But the argument is the height of intellectual laziness. The two groups simply cannot be compared.Von Yassin Musharbash
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has joined a chorus of international criticism of Switzerland's ban on minarets, saying it reflects an increasingly racist and fascist stance in Europe. The Swiss foreign minister said the vote may pose a threat to the country's security.
Switzerland's vote to ban minarets is a disaster for its image, write German commentators. The vote doesn't just reflect a fear of "Islamization" but also shows that setbacks in recent years have shaken its national self-confidence. But Germans would probably vote the same way, warn some observers.
The Swiss have voted in favor of a complete ban on the construction of minarets. But the decision is not a reaction to problems with Muslims in the country. Instead, it reveals a deep-seated fear of Islam.Von Mathieu von Rohr
A poster featuring a Muslim woman in a chador surrounded by minaret towers that resemble missiles is causing outrage in Switzerland ahead of a referendum next month on whether to ban mosques from having minarets. The campaign is proving so controversial that even some die-hard members of the country's far right are uncomfortable with it.Von Michael Soukup
There are plans to build several hundred new and often magnificent mosques throughout Europe -- particularly in Germany. Architecture has become the field of a fierce ideological battle about the visibility of Europe's 16 million Muslims.Von Ulrike Knöfel
The planned construction of over 180 mosques in Germany is mobilizing right-wing xenophobes but also an increasing number of leftist critics. They fear the Muslim places of worship will facilitate the establishment of a completely parallel society.Von Jochen Bölsche
Across Europe, right-wing populist parties are gaining support by focusing on issues such as the construction of mosques. SPIEGEL ONLINE talks to right-wing populism expert Oliver Geden about the strategies used by the right and the pressure they put on the mainstream.
A right-wing citizens' initiative is protesting against Germany's largest mosque, which is being built in Cologne. They have enlisted the efforts of the far-right from Austria and Belgium in their fight against the "Islamization of Europe."Von Anna Reimann