04 August 2016

Few problems in first month of burka ban

It’s been a month since a so-called burka ban took effect in Switzerland’s Italian-speaking canton, Ticino. Except for two fines and a few warnings, it seems that little has changed there. In fact, tourism from Arab countries is up.

On day one of the ban – which prohibits clothing that covers the face – a Swiss woman who had converted to Islam provoked the first fine. A few days ago, police in Chiasso – just over the Swiss border – issued the second fine of CHF100 ($103). Police in Lugano, meanwhile, have intervened six times so far.

For example: “A woman came with her family for a day trip from Milan, and she simply didn’t know about the ban,” Lugano police lieutenant Franco Macchi told swissinfo.ch. “She apologised and removed her veil.” She wasn’t fined.

In terms of the local economy, it’s unclear whether the ban has had a negative effect. Fearing the worst in terms of bookings, the Ticino branch of the Swiss Hotel Association (Hotelleriesuisse) prepared flyers explaining the ban for veiled women and their husbands. [swissinfo.ch] Read more