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Full face covering in public places is banned in Switzerland

On Sunday in Switzerland, 52% of the electorate and most of the cantons voted favor From the referendum to the introduction of a controversial law banning the full-face covering in public places and which was defined by the Swiss media as a law.Burqa ban“.

The law does not explicitly refer to Muslim women, but rather who promotes it She did not hide The main goal is to ban the clothing that some people use to cover the entire face, such as the burqa or niqab.

The proposal for a referendum was put forward in 2016 by a committee that included many supporters of the Schweizerische Volkspartei (SVP), a right-wing and conservative party, which is the largest in the National Assembly and the government currently.

In the campaign in favor of the referendum, the first vice president often tried to link the covered face of a Muslim woman to Islamic religious extremism, arguing, among other things, that showing the face was one of the most important symbols of people’s freedom in Switzerland. In 2009, the Senior Vice President also promoted another ban referendum Building new minaretsIt is the towers near the mosques from which the call to prayer is issued 5 times a day.

The ban on covering the face in public places was already in effect in two Swiss cantons, Ticino and St. Gallen, which organized independent local consultations shortly after the 2016 proposal.

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In Switzerland, people of the Islamic religion are 5 percent From about 8 and a half million people, they mainly come from Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo.

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The Muslim community living in Switzerland denies that the law will not allow women to freely practice their religion, and says its introduction would be discrimination. Moreover, according to Muslim activists and feminists, the law is also gender-biased, as it aims to control women’s bodies and limit their right to self-determination.

The Swiss government took an official position against the proposal and demanded that the electorate reject it. One of the main reasons is that imposing the law at the national level would limit the sovereignty of individual cantons, not least because voters from three cantons had already rejected it in local consultations. Moreover, according to an estimate cited by a government spokesman, very few Muslim women in Switzerland wear the headscarf that conceals the face completely.Between 36 and 130 inches.

The government presented a counter-proposal, which is now no longer questioned: forcing people to reveal their faces only in cases where this is necessary for identification by the authorities.

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Already in Europe there are many countries where a similar ban is in place, which in one way or another is targeting clothing such as the niqab and burqa: among them are for example France, Denmark and the Netherlands. Due to the mandatory nature of the mask due to the Coronavirus pandemic, several newspapers have appeared in the past year They spoke How can covering the face be an obedient and prohibited practice at the same time.

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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