Switzerland may be the next European country to vote against Muslim covering

With over 100,000 signatures, the “Yes to a Mask Ban” group is a step closer to getting a burqa ban in Switzerland.

World Religion News reports that the activists of the “Yes to a Mask Ban” group have succeeded in getting all the signatures needed put the proposal for a ban to a national vote.

In fact, the group were able to get more than the required 100,000 signatures. This feat was achieved two days before the deadline, according to Swiss People’s Party (SVP) MP Walter Wobmann, a leading member of the committee and a long-time advocate of a burqa ban.

In an interview with Tribune de Genève, he revealed that it was not easy getting the signatures.

He said, “It was tight. We are a small committee… We were lacking people to help us gather the signatures.”

Luzerner Zeitung reports that the committee was helped by a 76-year-old man,  who was able to 9,700 signatures on his own.

The signatures, 106,600 of them, were delivered in three boxes by a delegation from the group on Friday, September 15, 2017. They were delivered to the federal chancellery, a part of the Swiss parliament building in Bern.

Reacting to the proposed ban, Anian Liebrand, a Swiss campaign leader said, “Facial coverings are a symbol of radical Islam that has nothing to do with religious freedom but are rather an expression of the oppression of women. In Switzerland, we show our faces when we talk to each other.”

However, Oender Gueneş, a spokesman for the Federation Of Islamic Organisations in Switzerland, feels bans are an intrusion on religious freedom.

“How many people wear these burqas in Switzerland? You can probably count those living in Switzerland on maybe one or two hands. The rest are usually rich tourists from the Gulf,” he said.

The spokesman‘s organisations represent over 200 mosques.

Time will tell if the proposal is voted in.

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