SHAFAQNA- Switzerland has voted in a referendum to ban women from wearing the Burqa or Niqab in public spaces. Just over 51% of Swiss voters cast their ballots in favour of the initiative to ban people from covering their face completely on the street, in shops and restaurants. Full facial veils will still be allowed to be worn inside places of prayer and for “native customs”, such as carnival. Face coverings worn for health and safety reasons are also exempt from the ban, meaning face masks worn because of the Covid-19 pandemic will not be affected by the new law.
Muslim groups have criticised the ban. “This is clearly an attack against the Muslim community in Switzerland. What is aimed here is to stigmatise and marginalise Muslims even more,” said Ines Al-Shikh, a member of Les Foulards Violets, a Muslim feminist collective, The Guardian reported.