Switzerland just approved a ban on some face coverings in public, including niqabs and burqas
Swiss voters approved a referendum to ban face coverings in public. Here’s what you need to know about the ‘burqa ban.’
- This means that niqabs and burqas will be banned outside of religious institutions within the country.
- However, this “new law doesn’t apply to facial coverings for health reasons,” according to NPR. So face masks and face coverings to fight off COVID-19 would not be banned.
The ban has created a litany of reactions. Some progressives are in favor of the ban because they feel face coverings are oppressive. Others see the move as “Islamophobic and that women should not be told what to wear,” according to NPR.
The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland called the decision “Islamophobically motivated.”
- “Today’s decision is tearing open old wounds, expanding the principle of legal inequality,” the group said in a statement.
So what’s next?
The Associated Press reports that Swiss officials have two years to draft the legislation. The government, though, is opposed to the initiative, saying it is “excessive and argued such bans should be decided by individual regions,” according to NPR.