Swiss Lower House Approves Burqa Ban

Posted September 28th, 2011 at 12:06 pm (UTC-5)
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The lower house of Switzerland's parliament has approved a ban on burqas and other face covering veils in certain public places.

By a margin of 101-77 Wednesday, the lower house voted to outlaw the face coverings on public transportation and when dealing with authorities.

The measure was backed by Oskar Freysinger of the nationalist Swiss People's Party. The measure must still go before the upper house of parliament before federal elections in October.

France, which has western Europe's largest Muslim population, and Belgium have similar laws in place already. The laws went into effect earlier this year.

About 5 million Muslims live in France, but only about 2,000 women wear burqas.