Finland: Helsinki welcomes minarets

After the Swiss ban on minaret construction, many other European countries wonder how they would decide in case of a referendum, and they claim almost unanimously that they would choose to ban the ban.

In the Finnish capital of Helsinki, mosques and their minarets seem to be welcome. This is the view of Helsinki’s city planners and of the Finnish Lutheran Church. Helsinki’s freethinkers also seem to be in favor of a free public space for the towers from which calls to prayer are announced to those practicing Islam.

Even the most hard-boiled of Helsinki residents do not support a Swiss-style ban on the building of minarets. A quick interview round carried out by Helsingin Sanomat in downtown Helsinki showed that almost without exception the city’s residents adopt a positive view towards the Muslims’ wish to have a traditional Mosque in the Finnish capital. The plan, however, is still very much in its initial stages.