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It’s Switzerland’s turn to say no to burqa

In National on September 30, 2011 at 4:06 am

After France, Belgium and the Netherlands, Switzerland has become the fourth European nation to ban face-covering veils in public places. On Wednesday, the Lower House of the Swiss Parliament approved a motion titled ‘Masks Off’ that will prohibit individuals from covering their faces in public. Introduced by a member of the SVP, the motion requires “anyone addressing… authority to present themselves with their faces uncovered” and provides for authorities to “restrict access to public buildings to such individuals in order to guarantee the security of other users.” Mr Oskar Freysinger, the SVP leader who championed the move, explains the rationale behind the motion thus: “At a time when insecurity is growing in our streets, more people are hiding their faces behind a balaclava, a mask or a burqa. This makes it impossible to identify these people.” That Mr Freysinger makes a valid point finds proof in the fact that half way across the world in Australia, local authorities have implemented a similar ban after a police officer failed to identify a burqa-clad suspect. While authorities across Europe have cited security concerns to justify a ban on face masks and veils, some leaders have also openly acknowledged that the ban, which by default also prohibits burqas and niqabs, was needed because these simply do not fit into the idea of an open society where women are respected.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/pioneer-news/edit/10113-ban-on-veil-gains-ground.html

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