Holland, France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Egypt, Italy, Chad, Spain, Cameroon, Niger and other countries have either a total or partial ban on the Islamic symbol of oppression: The Burka. And soon to join this list is Switzerland. Last year in September, the Lower House of Swiss Parliament voted to ban face veils in public and government places, and will now go to the Upper House for ratification.
Walter Wobmann, who first introduced the bill said that “Veils are an attack on integration in a free society”. The first vote was a very close call with a single vote win of 88-87. If the higher chamber votes as expected, the ban will come in later this year.
Not only are face veils a symbol of the oppression of women in Islamic society, they are very much a cultural aspect as opposed to a religious law. The Koran does not mention veils at all (although it does call for female modesty) and it tends to be the more extreme sects of Islam that say women must be covered.
The new law is welcomed by security services, too. Chad first introduced the ban after two suicide bombers used Burkas to travel undetected, and in the UK, a wanted terrorist escaped police by donning a Burka and escaping through a Mosque.
According to reports, Swiss lawmakers are closer than ever to implementing a nation-wide ban on face veils. The ban on the Islamic veils was passed in the lower house of Swiss parliament on September 27 by a vote of 88 to 87. Now, it will go on to the higher chambers of the government in order to actually be enacted into law.
The ban was originally proposed by Walter Wobmann, a member of the Swiss People’s Party (SVP). Wobmann has been resistant to the acceptance of refugees and was successful in 2009 when he pushed for a ban on the construction of mosque minarets in Switzerland.
“Veils are an attack on integration in a free society,” Wobmann said, according to The Independent. “The ban of religiously motivated coverings in public is proportionate and violates neither freedom of religion nor expression. It does not constitute discrimination.”