Switzerland, a wealthy country in the heart of Europe, has a population of 8.4 million people, 5.4% of which are Muslims, mostly originating from Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Kosovo.
The latter two are two completely artificial states that resulted from the stepwise disintegration of Yugoslavia between 1992 and 2008. Both economies never took off, resulting in massive emigration.
Swiss people are given a direct say in their own affairs under the system of direct democracy, by which they are regularly invited to decide on various issues in national or regional referendums.
In a nation-wide poll on March 6th, 2021 in which slightly more than half of its citizens participated, in what was widely referred to as “the burka ban” 51.2% voted in favor of banning face coverings in public by law.
The proposal was put forward by the Egerkinger Komitee, a small group named after a municipality in the canton of Solothurn affiliated with the conservative Swiss People’s Party (Schweizerische Volkspartei, SVP), which in 2009 successfully pushed through a ban on minarets.
On the numerous campaign posters Islam wasn’t mentioned directly, but a threatening, angry-looking woman in a black niqab, a veil that covers the face while the eyes remain visible, and the slogan “Stop extremism!” made the intention clear.
Chairman and SVP lawmaker Walter Wobmann described Muslim face coverings as “a symbol for an extreme, political Islam which has become increasingly prominent in Europe and has no place in Switzerland”.
Nevertheless, another intention is stopping radical leftist street protesters and mostly apolitical football hooligans from wearing scarves to facilitate their identification after violent incidents.
The Swiss federal government, composed of only seven members from various political parties, had argued against the ban saying it was not up to the state to dictate what women wear.
Although some local imams expressed support for the ban because it could help to emancipate Muslim women in the Swiss Confederation, the Central Council of Muslims sees a clear signal of exclusion in the result and will challenge the decision in court.
In reality, such a ban already exists in the cantons of Ticino since 2016 and St. Gallen since 2018 and only concerns the dress code on the street, in restaurants and stores. Exceptions made for locations where religious gatherings take place protect freedom of worship.
It also isn’t a brand new policy, as Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Austria and the northern Italian region of Lombardy have also imposed veiling bans.
Predictably, those supporting the initiative were accused of Islamophobia. The argument that almost “nobody” in Switzerland wears a burka and “only” around 30% women wear the niqab, indicate how far advanced Islamization actually is and how necessary countermeasures are.
In Switzerland and everywhere else the same principle applies: show your face when you have nothing to hide. That doesn’t only apply to Muslima, but also to the notorious Antifa scumbags.