Swiss Officials Call for State-wide Ban on Burqas After Deeming Initial Enforcement a ‘Success’

While the American media has painted a picture of outrage from the people of Switzerland, it would seem that the truth is far from it. Chief Norbert Gobbi has been pleasantly surprised by the way Arab tourists are handling things.

Local authorities said that tourists wearing the full body veils showed a “great willingness” to abide by the burka ban, which also restricted women from wearing the niqab.

Nearly two thirds of voters supported the ban after a referendum was held in the Swiss state of Ticino in 2013.

But since being introduced in July 2016 only half a dozen women have faced court proceedings, while just ten warnings were handed out by the authorities.

Burka banCEN/GETTY

Only half a dozen women have faced court proceedings, while just ten warnings were handed out


Local authorities said that tourists showed a “great willingness” to abide by the ban

State-wide police chief Norbert Gobbi said the burka ban was often followed by visitors when explained properly by officers.

He added the success came despite high profile condemnation from the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland’s women’s representative Nora Illi.

Mrs Illi, who strongly opposed the ban, set up a protest with Algerian entrepreneur Rachid Nekkaz and presented herself to police while wearing her burka in an act of civil disobedience.

Mr Gobbi added: “The Arab tourists are smarter than the opponents of the burka ban.”

Burqa guideEXPRESS

The burka is one of a range of islamic veils

The Italian speaking region, famous for its beautiful lakes, is a popular holiday spot for Arab tourists.

But despite initial fears tourists may want to stay away, local hoteliers have said they are satisfied with the results.

Lorenzo Pianezzi, who operates a hotel in the town of Lugano, claimed that overnight stays from Arab visitors at his business were 20 per cent higher than the previous year.

He added that he had only once given a guest a pamphlet explaining the ban.

Nora IlliGETTY

Nora Illi protested the move, offering herself up to police for a fine

Mr Pianezzi said: “The Arab guests are well informed and show a great willingness to respect the rules.

“The woman I gave a pamphlet to immediately took off her veil.”

According to polls, 71% of the country's population is okay with the ban of face covering clothes in public. While the ban has initiated in a few places, it's unknown whether it'll pass through the entire country. Whatever happens, don't pay attention to the media. It would seem they've drastically overstated things.





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