Switzerland prohibits full-face covering in public places, receives backlash

Following the two steps of other European countries, Switzerland finally abolishes the niqab or burka.

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The recent ban on niqab and burka in Switzerland.

On Sunday, Switzerland brings out the law which prohibits people from covering their face in the public area. This decision is based on the voting done by the people. The voting was done based on the proposal put forward by the Swiss’s people party, a right-wing party in Switzerland. These were the same group who proposed the idea which outlaws the construction of minarets.

The results of the voting show that 51.2% of the people supported the decision of the government.

 But on the other hand, the rest were against this ban/prohibition. Many believe that this law is promoting Islamophobia among the swiss people. They think it is an indirect ban on the burka and niqab which is worn by Muslim women throughout the world. Swiss Council of Religions stated that it is essential to preserve the religious identity of the people. 

Purple Headscarves‘s spokesperson said that this prohibition is creating a problem for the minority over there. Muslim population in Switzerland is roughly 5% of the population of 8.6 million belonging to different ethnic backgrounds. People even took down to the streets to show resentment towards the new law. There were slogans put out by the people saying, “No to an absurd, useless and Islamophobic ‘anti-burqa’ law”. While the other group says that these laws are in a way curbing radical and extremism Islam.

However, the government clarified that it is only applicable to public places like restaurants, sports stadiums, public transport etc. There was an exemption given to the religious places. In other cases, face masks have also been given a free pass due to the ongoing covid 19 pandemic. The government has also come up with an alternative to the previous law which is to show their face only if required for instance during identification. 

Switzerland is following the suit of many European countries like France, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria etc.  In these countries, the laws over face covering are quite stringent to the extent that they even fine their citizens. 

Other than that, the free trade agreement between Switzerland and Indonesia will gradually be coming to an end. This proposal was nearly approved by 51.7% support. The import duties on palm oil will be reduced. Plus, the Tariff will be abolished slowly from all Switzerland’s biggest imports to the 4th most populous country in the world. 

The government is also planning on creating a federally recognised electronic I-D card to order goods and services online. Nonetheless, it was disapproved by 64.36 % of votes. 

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