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Swiss voters back a ban on face coverings

In a regressive move, 51% of Swiss voters favoured a ban on face coverings, aimed at Muslim women in public, the BBC reported. This comes after a referendum was proposed by the right-wing party Swiss People’s Party. It’s a rather heavy restriction, especially in a country where ONLY 5% of the entire population of 8.6 million people are Muslim, according to research by the University of Lucerne in Switzerland – and, it found, almost no one wears the burka and all of 30 women wear the niqab. In case you don’t know the difference: a burka is a one-piece garment that fully covers the woman’s face and body while a mesh screen covers the eyes. A niqab covers the face fully, but the eyes are visible; a hijab is a scarf that covers the head and neck, 🧕 according to a lecturer in Middle East Politics and Islamic Studies. Arguments that a Muslim woman’s decision to cover her face represents a form of oppression worthy of state intervention is tenuous at best. In reality, the ban is another confrontation with a small Muslim population, following similar bans in Denmark, Austria, France and others, BBC reported. Thankfully, South Africa is on the other side of this, with our broad acceptance of religious faiths and their choice of dress. 🏳️‍🌈