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Swiss plan fines for breaking ‘burqa-hijab ban’.

Switzerland is introducing a law that imposes a fine of 1000 Swiss Francs for wearing burqa-hijab in public.

The Muslim organizations of that country had already moved with such a law. Their point was that there was an attempt to take away everyone’s right to cultural behavior in Switzerland.

SWITZERLAND-VOTE-RELIGION-REFERENDUM

Suman Dutta | HENB | Bern | Oct 14, 2022:: When the Supreme Court in India gave a split verdict on wearing Hijab in class-rooms, the fuss about burqa or hijab (veil and head scarf) started long ago in Europe. It is argued that burqa or hijab is dangerous for the safety of common people. Shockingly, an Iranian young woman was killed by the country’s morality police for not wearing the hijab properly which created a tremendous controversy on Hijab and women rights worldwide.  So far there has been a lot of discussion in Switzerland. Now it is going to be banned through a bill. Not only that, if anybody wears a burqa or hijab, then she will have to pay a fine of 1,000 Swiss Francs or 83,000 Rupees (appx) in Indian currency. The Swiss government is going to bring such a law.

This is part of a bill sent to parliament on Wednesday to implement the so-called “burqa ban” proposed by right-wingers, which won a narrow victory in a referendum last year. Although known as the “burqa ban”, it applies, for example, to masked football fans as well as a Muslim woman wearing a niqab.

Plans for fines up to CHF 10,000 have been dropped after consultations, as this was considered disproportionate. Implementation of the ban will be done through a new law and not by amending the penal code, as originally proposed. This is more appropriate to ensure public security and order, the government says.

According to the bill, concealing the face in a public place is prohibited. Eyes, nose and mouth must be visible. A football fan may, for example, wear a cap or hood, but not a balaclava. A Muslim woman may wear a hijab — a scarf covering her hair — but not a niqab, which shows only the eyes, or a burqa which covers the whole body.

Those who are in favor of banning the hijab or veil in the country claim that the veil or hijab is a sign of political Islam, a threat to security. Switzerland’s Eger Kinger Committee is behind the burqa ban. In 2021, the country’s parliament voted to ban face coverings. This time the law is going to come.

What is there in the law to ban the veil? According to Swiss media sources, eyes and face cannot be covered even if you walk in a bus-train, in a restaurant or even on an empty street. The law does not directly mention burkha or hijab. The ban is to apply in all public or private spaces accessible to the public. These include schools, courts, hospitals and public transport, but also restaurants, shops, cinemas and sports halls.

There are several exceptions. For example, it will be possible to cover one’s face in aircraft, consular or diplomatic premises and places of worship. Other exemptions have been decided for reasons of health, safety, weather conditions or local customs, as well as for artistic, entertainment or advertising purposes.

It should be noted that the Muslim organizations of that country had already moved with such a law. Their point was that there was an attempt to take away everyone’s right to cultural behavior in Switzerland. But that argument no longer holds up.

Switzerland is going to enter among the 5 countries in the world that have banned eface covering so far. However, in Denmark, Austria, Netherlands, Bulgaria, face covering is partially banned. In addition, in 2011, France banned the veil.

__Inputs from Swissinfo.Ch

One comment on “Swiss plan fines for breaking ‘burqa-hijab ban’.

  1. Pingback: Swiss plan fines for breaking 'burqa-hijab ban'.

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