A country widely known for its neutrality, Switzerland has positioned itself at the crossroads of debates around freedom of religion and expression by prohibiting women from wearing the burqa or niqab in public spaces.
By a narrow margin, Swiss voters voted to prohibit people from completely covering their faces in the streets, in shops and restaurants, freeing coverings for health and safety reasons as many people around the world continue to wear face coverings to protect themselves from COVID-19. . Switzerland does not require the use of face coverings until it is longer than other European countries.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS NOW
A video on the Swiss government website explains arguments in support of the ban claiming “a religious veil such as the burqa or niqab is a symbol of oppression of women and is incompatible with our society,” according to The Guardian. Religious veils and head coverings are worn by followers of many different practices, including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism, among others. The burqa or niqab, however, is specific to Islam and has been associated with extremism.
“The public debate that has been going on in the media and politics in Switzerland since 2006 largely paints a general picture of a helpless and disintegrated woman who is forced to cover up by her father or husband,” said Andreas Tunger-Zanetti, a researcher at the University of Lucerne and the coordinator of the Center for Research on Religions, added that the evidence does not support this.
Muslims, many of whom come from Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo, make up about 5 percent of Switzerland’s 8.6 million population. Of these, at most 37 women in Switzerland wore the niqab, a veil that covers the entire face and leaves only the eyes free, and none wears a burqa, the full body veil, according to a survey by the center. The study also found that those who wear the niqab, who are predominantly socialized in the west and not raised Muslim, do so on the basis of their own beliefs, with no evidence of a link to extremism.
“This symbolic policy is aimed at Muslim women and men,” the Swiss Federation of Islamic Umbrella Organizations said in a statement. “But it also damaged the whole of Switzerland, which has damaged its own values by accepting the initiative.”
READ MORE LIKE THIS FROM CHANGING AMERICA
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]