Philosophers View on the Swiss Minarets Ban Analytical Essay by Julian

Looks at the Swiss decision to ban the minarets of Muslim masjid in light of the ideas of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant.
# 151865 | 2,775 words | 7 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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This paper explains that a majority of Swiss citizens voted in 2009 against allowing the building of new minarets in their country resulting in an amendment to the Swiss Constitution thereby imposing a simple majority vote over a minority practice. Next, the author relates that Thomas Hobbes and John Locke valued social stability over human rights and therefore would probably have found themselves on the side of the minaret ban. On the other hand, the author points out that neither Jean-Jacques Rousseau nor Immanuel Kant advocated purely majority rule rather defining freedom as a balance of the interests of the organized state against those of the individual. The paper concludes that the ban on the construction of new minarets violates the philosophical premises of both Kant and Rousseau.

Table of Contents:

From the Paper:

"Hobbes was not the only 17th century English philosopher with an all-encompassing theory of government; John Locke also sought to provide a framework in which the rights and duties of man could be better understood, with a view towards building a commonwealth as perfect as possible. In his "Second Treatise of Government", Locke aims to explain "the true original, extent and end of civil government" ; his attempt had as an influence as any on the subsequent course of history.
"There is much on which Locke agrees with Hobbes: his views of the state of nature are almost equally bleak and he shares his older colleague's distaste for anarchy. True, these views are more subdued in Locke's case, but he is nevertheless of the opinion that while complete freedom is enjoyable, it also brings with it extreme dangers. Unlike Hobbes, he understands by the "law of nature" a law given by God and beneficial for mankind, but somewhat counter-intuitively, he argues that in the state of nature this natural law is not followed.
"Since Locke's religious views take much of the "First Treatise" of government, there isn't as much religion in his second essay; instead he concentrates on matters of property, right of conquest, representative government and right of revolution."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Kant, Immanuel. 1784. "An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment?" Trans. Ted Humphrey. In Ted Humphrey, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983), 41-48.
  • Hobbes, Thomas. 2005. "Leviathan." Edited by: Rogers, G. and Schuhmann, K.London: Continuum.
  • Locke, John. 1988. "Two Treatises On Government." Edited by Peter Laslett. Cambridge University Press.
  • Kant, Immanuel. 1795. "To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch." Trans. Ted Humphrey. In Ted Humphrey, Perpetual Peace and Other Essays (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1983), 107-144.
  • Kant, Immanuel. 1797. The Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. Mary J. McGregor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Philosophers View on the Swiss Minarets Ban (2012, October 19) Retrieved August 18, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Philosophers View on the Swiss Minarets Ban" 19 October 2012. Web. 18 August. 2022. <>