Switzerland Votes To Ban Women From Wearing Burqas In Public

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Switzerland Votes To Ban Women From Wearing Burqas In Public

Switzerland has narrowly voted in a referendum to ban the wearing of full face coverings, known as burkas, in public places. The referendum was won by the slimmest of margins, with the proposal to ban the burka gaining 51% of the vote.

The motion was supported by the ruling right-wing Swiss People's Party but opposed by a majority of the country's parliament.

Campaigners against the Burka have long argued that the full-face covering was a symbol of oppression against women and a sign of religious zealotry. Indeed, the campaign that stood for the ban used the slogan:

"Stop Islamic Radicalism."

Other campaign slogans included:

"Religious veils like the burqa or the niqab are a symbol of the oppression of women and aren't suitable to our society."

Others have claimed that the burka stops women from integrating into Western society and can create huge barriers to entering the workplace.

Those opposing the burka ban have, however, said that these claims made by opponents of the burka are merely using it as an excuse to vent their Islamophobic and racist attitudes, and that, in reality, these individuals do not care in the slightest about women's rights or integration. They also claim that such moves will further alienate the Islamic population. Around 5% of Swiss residents are Muslim.

Ines Al Shikh, a member of Les Foulards Violets, a Muslim feminist collective, said of the referendum result:

"This is clearly an attack against the Muslim community in Switzerland. What is aimed here is to stigmatize and marginalize Muslims even more. This symbolic policy is directed against female and male Muslims. But it also damages the whole of Switzerland, which has undermined its own values by accepting the initiative."

A group of hoteliers and restauranteurs also opposed the ban, saying they would be economically impacted if the ban stopped Muslim tourists from visiting the country. A representative told reporters:

"A burqa ban would damage our reputation as an open and tolerant tourism destination."

The vote in Switzerland makes it one of a number of European countries that have voted to ban the wearing of full-face Islamic dress. In 2011, France legislated to ban the burka in public, and similar bans have been entered into law in Belgium, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands.

[h/t: I heart Intelligence]

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Thinking Humanity: Switzerland Votes To Ban Women From Wearing Burqas In Public
Switzerland Votes To Ban Women From Wearing Burqas In Public
Switzerland has narrowly voted in a referendum to ban the wearing of full face coverings, known as burkas, in public places. The referendum was won by
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