One of the largest backers of the initiative was the nationalist Swiss People’s Party, which applauded the outcome of the vote and called the new measure “A strong symbol in the fight against radical political Islam.”
“The burqa creates a barrier between the person wearing it and the environment and thus prevents integration into society,” Swiss People’s Party President Marco Chiesa said in a statement.
Some feminist groups and progressive Muslims reportedly were supporters of the initiative, arguing that full face coverings are oppressive to women.
Other groups felt the new restriction was Islamophobic and that women should not be told what to wear.
The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland said the results were “Islamophobically motivated.”
“Today’s decision is tearing open old wounds, expanding the principle of legal inequality and sending a clear signal of exclusion to the Muslim minority,” the group wrote.
Swiss voters backed a ban on niqabs and burqas worn by a handful of Muslim women in the country. https://t.co/GzUHH09Dfk
— NPR (@NPR) March 8, 2021