Posted on March 10, 2021

Switzerland Approves ‘Burqa Ban’ to Prohibit Some Face Coverings in Public

Dustin Jones, NPR, March 7, 2021

Swiss voters approved a proposition Sunday banning facial coverings in public. Niqabs and burqas, worn by almost no one even among the country’s Muslim population, will be banned outside of religious institutions. The new law doesn’t apply to facial coverings for health reasons.

Switzerland will join several European countries that have implemented a ban on facial coverings, including FranceDenmark, the Netherlands and Austria.

The new legislation was brought to the ballot through a people’s initiative launched by the nation’s right-wing Egerkingen Committee, the same group that led the charge to ban minarets over a decade ago, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation reported. {snip}

The Swiss government opposed the nationwide initiative as excessive and argued such bans should be decided by individual regions, two of which already have a “burqa ban” in place.

The ban barely passed a majority vote, with 51.2% of the Swiss voting in support of the proposal. {snip}

One of the largest backers of the initiative was the nationalist Swiss People’s Party, which applauded the outcome of the vote and called the new measure “A strong symbol in the fight against radical political Islam.”