Switzerland approves banning the burqa and masking the face in public places

Citizens Swiss They agreed to a ban on hiding the face in public and wearing the Islamic burqa, a decision hailed by supporters as a measure against radical Islam, but described by opponents as sexist and xenophobic.

The initiative won in a referendum 51.21 percent of the vote and a majority of the cantons, according to official results published by the federal government. The text was initially proposed by the far-right populist party Swiss People’s Party / Central Democratic Union (please /UDC) LLC He was especially supported by feminists And part of the voters of the secular left.

We don’t want there to be radical Islamism in our country, ”UDC President Marco Chiesa stated in the series. Blick.tv.

And the deputy announced today when the result appeared: “No woman can accept walking in the street with a piece of cloth on her face that prevents her from breathing, and shows herself as a person and as a woman, and saying out loud is neither sexist nor racial.” From the referendum it was known .. Governor Jacqueline de Quattro In statements to the press.

Switzerland is following in the footsteps France, Austria, Bulgaria, Belgium and Denmark banned the full-face veil after years of controversy. It will now be prohibited to cover the entire face in public places, but exceptions are expected, for example, places of worship.

The text did not mention the burqa, which is the jacket that covers women from head to toe and has an opening with a net at eye level, nor the niqab that covers the body and face except for the eyes, but the whole world was pure. To whom he was addressing.

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No doubt campaign posters. Along with “stopping radical Islam” or “stopping extremism”, women appear in the niqab.

Potential impact on tourism

The ban was opposed by the government and parliament, considering it a marginal phenomenon in Switzerland, which could have negative impacts on tourism and, finally, would not really help affected women.

Yes, he risks “downplaying the racist and xenophobic environment” against Muslim women, he declared. Myriam Mastour, Member of “Los fulares violetas” on the public channel RTS (German). But he did celebrate the slight difference that the initiative was approved.

According to opponents, wearing a full veil is not a problem in Switzerland, as it is estimated that only a few dozen women wear this method. The majority of women who wear nikab are tourists. Before the coronavirus pandemic, it was not unusual to see them shopping in luxury stores in Geneva or Zurich.

He accused that “the complete prohibition of the veil is not a measure to emancipate women, but, on the contrary, it is a dangerous symbolic policy that violates freedom of expression and religion.” Cyril HugoNoRResponsible for women’s rights Amnesty International SwitzerlandIt was quoted in a statement.

According to 2019 statistics from the Census Bureau, about 5.5% of the Swiss and Muslim population are mainly descended from the former Yugoslavia. The federal government and parliament opposed the measure, arguing that it addresses a problem that does not exist.

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