Swiss council votes for ban on veil

A Swiss canton on Tuesday passed legislation preparing the groundwork for a possible ban on the Islamic burqa.

The local council in Aargau, a canton (state) in the north of Switzerland along the German border, voted overwhelmingly to work on a state initiative to make wearing the burqa in public places illegal. Most major parties backed the move.

Pushing the motion forward, the centrist and right wing parties in favour said the garment was a “symbol of male dominance over women,” according to the Swiss news agency SDA.The parties also said the full body veil prevents the integration of migrants into Swiss society.

The Socialist party objected to locally legislating on the matter, but members noted that they had negative views on the burqa, citing feminist concerns. The Green party was opposed, saying the proposal was “hysterics” and a scare-mongering tactic.

It is estimated that less than 100 Muslim women across Switzerland wear the burqa, a full body and face covering.

Earth Times, 4 May 2010

See also WRS, 4 May 2010