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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Swiss Parliament Votes to Ban Burqas and Niqabs in Public Places

The Swiss parliament has approved a bill that would prohibit women from wearing burqas and niqabs in public places, following the example of several other European countries. The bill, which was passed by a narrow majority of 94 to 89 votes on Wednesday, would impose a fine of up to 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,900) for anyone who covers their face in a way that makes them unrecognizable.

The bill’s supporters argue that the ban is necessary to protect the security and the values of Switzerland, as well as to promote the integration of Muslim women. They claim that the burqa and the niqab are symbols of oppression and extremism that have no place in a democratic society.

The bill’s opponents, however, denounce the ban as a violation of human rights and religious freedom. They say that the ban is discriminatory and stigmatizing for Muslim women, who should have the right to choose how they dress. 

They also point out that the ban is unnecessary, as only a very small number of women wear burqas and niqabs in Switzerland.

The bill still needs to be approved by the Swiss Council of States, the upper house of parliament, before it becomes law. If it passes, Switzerland will join France, Belgium, Austria, Denmark, and Bulgaria as countries that have banned full-face veils in public places.

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