Under the draft law, wearing of masks will be allowed in exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of expression, if clearance is given by the authorities and public order is assured. Switzerland passed a resolution banning face coverings in public last year. The proposal was moved by the same group that proposed a ban on Islamic minarets in 2009.
No direct mention of ‘burqa’ in the draft resolution
There is no direct mention of the burqa in the cabinet proposal for a fine for covering the face. If reports are to be believed, its aim is to prevent violent protesters from wearing masks. But local politicians, media and campaigners have called it ‘burqa ban’. In a statement, the cabinet said the ban on face coverings is aimed at ensuring public safety and order. Punishment is not its priority. Supporters of the ban say ‘face coverings are a symbol of radicalism, political Islam,’ DailyMail reported.
Burqa is banned in many countries of Europe
Muslim groups have condemned the voting as discriminatory and have vowed legal challenges. The ban on wearing full face coverings in public was first imposed by France on 11 April 2011. Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Bulgaria also have a complete or partial ban on wearing face coverings in public. Muslims make up about 5 percent of Switzerland’s population, most of whom have roots in Turkey, Bosnia and Kosovo.