• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:09 am

Swiss agree to outlaw facial coverings in 'burqa ban' vote

  • Published at 11:46 am March 8th, 2021
Swiss Burqa ban
A member of the district election office Stadtkreis 3, wearing a protective mask, counts ballots on the day of a Swiss referendum on banning burqas and other facial coverings, in Zurich, Switzerland March 7, 2021 Reuters

Muslim groups condemned the vote and said they would challenge it

A far-right proposal to ban facial coverings in Switzerland won a narrow victory in a binding referendum on Sunday instigated by the same group that organized a 2009 ban on new minarets.

The measure to amend the Swiss constitution passed by a 51.2-48.8% margin, provisional official results showed.

The proposal under the Swiss system of direct democracy does not mention Islam directly and also aims to stop violent street protesters from wearing masks, yet local politicians, media and campaigners have dubbed it the burqa ban.

“In Switzerland, our tradition is that you show your face. That is a sign of our basic freedoms,” Walter Wobmann, chairman of the referendum committee and a member of parliament for the Swiss People’s Party, had said before the vote.

Facial covering is “a symbol for this extreme, political Islam which has become increasingly prominent in Europe and which has no place in Switzerland,” he said.

Muslim groups condemned the vote and said they would challenge it.


Also read - Swiss 'burqa ban' accepted


“Today’s decision opens old wounds, further expands the principle of legal inequality, and sends a clear signal of exclusion to the Muslim minority,” the Central Council of Muslims in Switzerland said.

It promised legal challenges to laws implementing the ban and a fundraising drive to help women who are fined.

“Anchoring dress codes in the constitution is not a liberation struggle for women but a step back into the past,” the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Switzerland said, adding Swiss values of neutrality, tolerance and peacemaking had suffered in the debate.

France banned wearing a full face veil in public in 2011 and Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria have full or partial bans on wearing face coverings in public.

Two Swiss cantons already have local bans on face coverings, although almost no one in Switzerland wears a burqa and only around 30 women wear the niqab, the University of Lucerne estimates. Muslims make up 5% of the Swiss population of 8.6 million people, most with roots in Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo.

The government had urged people to vote against a ban.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail