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Islamization fears

Switzerland narrowly passes bill to ban burqa

September 28, 2016

Switzerland approved a draft bill that would ban use of the burqa in the country by the margin of a single vote on Tuesday. The proposed law by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP) would ban the “concealing of one’s face” in public, and after being heard by the country’s lower house of parliament passed with 88 votes in favor, 87 against, and 10 abstentions.

According to Walter Wobmann, the SVP politician who championed the campaign, the law is intended to “maintain public order and respect for women.” The anti-immigration politician has previously claimed that “veils are an attack on integration in a free society” and that the garment constitutes an attack on Swiss values. Whether the law is actually enacted will now be determined by the Swiss Council of States or by public vote, should supporters of the law gain the 100,000 signatures required to trigger a referendum.

The Swiss canton of Ticino imposed its own ban on the burqa in July. Concerns about Islamization have become a trending topic in the country, even though only around 350,000 of the country’s 8.3 million inhabitants are Muslim. Muslim boys at school near Basel made recent headlines after they were threatened with $5,000 dollar fines for refusing to shake a female teacher’s hand, and two young Muslim girls who avoided swimming lessons with boys due to their religion were denied citizenship in June. A ban on Muslim veils was, however, voted down by state representatives at a commission in January.

Read the full story at The Independent.


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