In the Mecca of Swiss Machining

The Swiss just voted overwhelmingly to bar the building of new minarets in Switzerland. No big deal in and of itself (only four of the country’s 150 mosques have them), but quite significant as a symbol of the discomfort level in the county over the “Islamification” of Europe. Minarets are tower-like structures built on top of mosques that are traditionally used for the call to prayer. None are used for that Switzerland however, because of strict noise pollution rules.

Muslims now comprise roughly five percent of the population of Switzerland, traditionally a conservative and insulated country. They have a much bigger presence in England, France and Holland.
If you visit the Haute-Savoie region of France, which borders Geneva, the machining hub of the region since clock making from wood was developed in the Jura Mountains, you will see thousands of satellite dishes aimed at Aljazeera transmitting towers. Arabia has been transplanted in Rolex-land. With the European machining community flattened by the recession a backlash at Muslims is not surprising.

Maybe it is a stretch, but I am going to connect the dots between the sudden resignation from CNN by the outspoken critic of Latino immigration, Lou Dobbs, and the vote in Switzerland. The rumor is that Dobbs wants to run against Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the only Latino in the U.S. Senate.

Is there a parallel between Islamic immigration to Europe and Latino immigration to the United States? Will Lou Dobbs ride an anti-minaret like backlash into the mainstream of American politics?

Question: If you discovered your best employee was an illegal, what would you do?

Minaret of Zurich’s Mahmud Mosque, 23 May 2007/Christian Hartmann

Minaret of Zurich’s Mahmud Mosque, 23 May 2007/Christian Hartmann

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6 thoughts on “In the Mecca of Swiss Machining

  1. Emily

    I think if someone is willing to lie to get a job they’re either desperate or are willing to lie too easily. For someone to be the “best” employee they would probably not be the type of person who lies easily. There’s a fine line between doing what’s right, meaning showing compassion, and doing what’s right in terms of the law, sending them back home. I would keep them.

  2. Jim Lestrange

    As far as the best employee went, I would have to take 10 minutes or so to try and evaluate what would NOT go well in the shop if he could no longer work there. Then,I would contact an attorney t see what could be done about MAKING him a legal resident, then I wouldn’t hae to worry about losing him (except, possibly to an offer of a higher-paying job).

  3. Dan Murphy


    I think that you are mischarecterizng Dobbs as being “anti Latino immigration” he is only on the record as opposing illegal imigration and is for securing the borders. It has been reported that he was forced out at CNN, with CNN paying out his contract and letting him “resign”.

    As far as what I would do if I found my best employee was an illegal alien the answer is pretty simple. If I continue to employ him or her, then I’m breaking the law so they would have to go. Depending on the circumstance I might try to get him/her legal help to try and make their status legal. But when you get right down to it, the relationship started with the employee fraudulently representing themself and that alone ought to be reason enough to terminate them.

    In any case, the soft bigotry of low expectations that Europeans have toward legal Muslim immigrants is apples and oranges when compared to the illegal immigration and porous border issue here.

  4. Bill

    I would gather that some shop owners feel that an illegal that he can pay half wages to is the best employee.

  5. Gerald Johnson



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