Switzerland’s parliament enacts burqa ban


The Swiss National Council, the lower house of Switzerland’s parliament, has passed a final legislative vote in favor of a ban on face coverings, including burqas worn by some Muslim women.

The legislation, initially approved by the upper house, received strong backing from the right-wing Swiss People’s Party, despite reservations expressed by centrists and Greens. This decision follows a nationwide referendum two years ago, in which Swiss voters narrowly supported the prohibition of niqabs, which have eye slits, along with burqas, ski masks, and bandannas sometimes worn by protesters. With the lower house’s approval, the ban has become federal law, with potential fines of up to 1,000 francs (approximately $1,100) for those who violate it.

The law forbids covering the nose, mouth, and eyes in both public spaces and privately accessible buildings, although there are some exceptions. It’s important to note that very few women in Switzerland wear full face coverings like burqas, which are more commonly associated with attire worn in Afghanistan. Notably, two Swiss cantons, Ticino in the south and St. Gallen in the north, had previously enacted similar laws. This national legislation aligns Switzerland with countries such as Belgium and France, which have implemented comparable measures to address the issue of face coverings.__Daily Times