Switzerland Parliament Approves Burqa Ban – Middle East Eye 9/21/23

Source: MiddleEastEye.net

Switzerland’s parliament has approved a ban on face coverings in legislation thought to be targeting Muslim women wearing burqas and niqabs.

The country’s lower parliamentary chamber voted overwhelmingly in favour of the bill on Wednesday, which was passed with 151 votes in favour and 29 against.

The upper chamber had previously approved the ban, which was strongly supported by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party.

It prohibits the covering of the nose, mouth and eyes in public places, as well as private buildings that can be accessed by the public.

The ban will now become federal law, and those who violate it will be fined 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,114).

Two years ago, Switzerland narrowly voted in a referendum to endorse a public ban on niqabs, burqas, ski masks and bandanas worn by protesters. Over 51 percent voted in favour, while nearly 49 percent voted against it.

The new law has a number of exceptions, including for indigenous customs, religious services, theatrical performances and face coverings for health and climate reasons.

It now brings Switzerland in line with several other European countries that have banned the burqa in some form, including France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands. …

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