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Face covering St Gallen bans burka in public

Black burka covering the face of a woman

Supporters argue a ban has a "preventive" effect, while opponents in St Gallen consider it unnecessary and ineffective 


Supporters of a burka ban in Switzerland have been given a boost after canton St Gallen decided to outlaw the wearing of the Islamic garment in public under certain conditions.

Parliament in the eastern canton on Tuesday confirmed the ban despite opposition from the cantonal government and leftwing as well as centre-right parties.

Under the new law, the burka can be banned in public spaces if the burka-wearing person is considered a threat to security or to “religious or social peace”.

St Gallen is the second of 26 cantons to legislate on face-covering, following the approval of a similar law by voters in Ticino four years ago. 

+ How the burka ban affected Ticino’s tourism

Moves are also underway among the political right to introduce a nationwide ban.

+ The necessary 100,000 signatures were handed in to the federal authorities in September.

In 2009, Swiss voters approved a ban on the construction of minarets at mosques, attracting worldwide media attention.

Several countries in the European Union, including France, the Netherlands and Belgium, as well the Catalonia region of Spain, have outlawed the wearing of face coverings in public.

description and graphic of burka, niqab, hijab
( with agenices/urs

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