World News: Switzerland narrowly won the Referendum with 51.2% votes to ban wearing burqas in public. Debates and discussions to ban wearing full face coverings in the Country has been brewing for years and now the Country has decided to outlaw burqas and niqabs with only a few exceptions in place.
51.2% votes numbering 1,426,992 voters had agreed to the proposal “Yes to a ban on full facial covering” and on the other hand 1,359,621, 50.58% voters were in favor of the opposite campaign “No to absurd, useless and Islamophobic anti-burqa law”. Majority of the Swiss federal cantons voted in favor of banning burqa in public.
Marco Chisea, head of the right-wing SVD (Swiss People’s Party) expressed that the Swiss people are now glad that this comes into act to ban the facial coverings. He said that this referendum will help Switzerland to fight against radical Islamism in Europe and Switzerland. As Switzerland voted to outlaw face-coverings, 150 protesters opposed and protested the outcome in Bern, Switzerland.
It has to be noted that Switzerland has only Muslim population of only 5.5% and full-face coverings are not so common. But this decision to ban full-face coverings by Switzerland could be seen as the country’s pre-emptive step to counter Radical Islamism. However, exceptions in places like mosques, ceremonies and safety reasons are being given to wear burqa.
As Europe has been struggling with the problem of Radical Islamism with the heavy influx of refugees from the Middle East war torn nations, many basic steps are being discussed by European nations to battle this. One of the basic steps many nations agreed to take is to outlaw burqas and niqabs in public. And, France was the first to do this in 2011.
Following France, countries in Europe with significant and considerable Muslim populations in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Hungary have all banned full-face coverings. The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland had expressed its dissatisfaction with the referendum, saying that this is great disappointment for Muslims.
Referendums like these are common to happen as per the Swiss Constitution. Twelve years ago, in one such referendum the people voted no to constructions of minarets in Swiss soil. The referendum does not necessarily establish the people’s position against Muslims in Switzerland, but votes against the unnecessary Islamification of Swiss society.