Switzerland to Ban Face Veils in Referendum

As part of a new referendum that has been criticised as Islamophobic, Switzerland might ban wearing the face veil in public.

As part of a new referendum that has been criticised as Islamophobic, Switzerland might ban women from wearing the face veil in public.

“Stop Extremism!” emphasises a red billboard in a quiet village near the outskirts of the capital, Zurich. The statement sits right above an image of a frowning woman wearing a black headscarf and face veil.

The billboard is part of a campaign run by the far-right Swiss People’s Party (SVP) to ban the face veil in public – which will be voted on in a binding national referendum that is scheduled to take place on Sunday. Opinion polls seem to suggest most voters will back it and the face veil ban will become law in Switzerland.

“In Switzerland, our tradition is that you show your face. That is a sign of our basic freedoms,” said Walter Wobmann, an SVP member of parliament and chairman of the referendum committee.

The referendum committee used the Covid-19 pandemic- which forced everyone to cover their faces with masks in public- to gather the necessary support to launch this face veil banning proposal/ referendum in Switzerland.

Although the referendum does not mention Islam directly as it also aims to stop violent street protesters from wearing masks, regardless, Swiss politicians and the media have dubbed it the ‘burqa ban’ primarily because the billboard depicts a Muslim woman wearing the face veil.

Wobmann said the vote was not against Islam itself, but added, “the facial covering is a symbol for this extreme, political Islam which has become increasingly prominent in Europe and which has no place in Switzerland”.

Other European countries apart from Switzerland that have fully or partially banned the wearing of face veils in public include France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Austria.

Another reason behind the Swiss referendum is the fact that Muslims are a minority. The University of Lucerne estimates that Muslims make up 5.2 per cent of the Swiss population of 8.6 million people, and only around 30 women wear the face veil in Switzerland.

Rifa’at Lenzin, 67, a Swiss Muslim woman, upon the likely ban of the face veil said: “Changing the constitution to tell people what they can and cannot wear is a very bad idea […] This is Switzerland, not Saudi Arabia.”

“We are Muslims but we are Swiss citizens who have grown up here too,”
this vote is simply racist and Islamophobic.”

About Us:

Runway Pakistan is a complete solution provider for all your marketing communications-related requirements. The ultimate hub of infotainment – Runway composes of all the key offerings – Monthly Print Magazine, Digital Magazine, Media Production, Creative Agency, PR Agency, and Marketing Consultancy that a brand needs to be seen, heard, and known!

Like and follow our Facebook page:
Runway Pakistan

Read our previous article:
Dwayne Johnson Gets Cupping Therapy