The Swiss said “yes” to the burqa ban in today’s referendum. Fifty-one percent of voters voted in favor of the ban. The government had advised to vote against the measure. Half of those eligible to vote participated in the referendum.
The burqa ban is already in effect in the Netherlands, France, and Austria, among other countries.
The ban should now be covered by the constitution and apply in the street and in the restaurant and shop industries. There is an exception to houses of worship.
Officially, the referendum was about banning the covering of the face. This means, among other things, that the protesters should not hide their faces either. But the creator and organizer of the initiative has never hidden that the measure is aimed at veiled women.
A referendum against minarets
Walter Waebman is a Member of Parliament for the Radical Right Party (SVP). Earlier, he initiated a referendum to ban the construction of minarets. This was also supported by the majority of voters.
Webman sees minarets, burqas and niqabs as symbols of the “Islamization of Switzerland”. About 5% of the Swiss have a Muslim background. According to media estimates, around thirty people wear the niqab or burqa. Opponents of the ban accuse the first vice president of trying to stir negative feelings against Muslims.
Since August 1, 2019, the Netherlands has been banned from wearing face coverings in public places. The face must be visible in educational and welfare institutions, public transportation, government buildings, etc. Amsterdam Mayor Halsema said earlier that enforcing the ban was not a priority.