Swiss ‘burka ban’ accepted by slim majority


Swiss ‘burka ban’ accepted by slim majority

A decade after another national vote that banned the building of minarets, Switzerland will introduce a clause in its constitution to outlaw face coverings, including the Islamic burka and niqab, in public spaces.

In doing so, it will join five other European countries, including neighbours France and Austria, who have already banned such garments in public.

Exceptions to the law will include face coverings for reasons of security, climate, or health – which means protective masks worn against Covid-19 are acceptable. Niqabs and burkas will still be allowed in places of worship.

Final results on Sunday showed just six of the country’s 26 cantons rejecting the initiative, which was launched by the right-wing Egerkinger committee – the same group who were behind the minaret vote in 2009.

Turnout was just over 50%, a little above average.

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