Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Burqa Law

Ticino is a Swiss state or canton on the southern side of Switzerland.....siding with Italy.  It's a mountainous area known mostly for tourism and quiet peaceful farms.  This week....they got into the news.

Their canton maintains a Parliament for state business.  In a normal year.....they meet and pass a handful of laws affecting only this small region of 1,081 square miles.  They decided to pass a anti-burqa law.....where your face can't be covered.

Yeah, it probably is a shocker.

The way this is written.....if you were to test the local authorities and wear a facial-covering burqa in public....you'd have to pay 10,000 Swiss Francs.  It's roughly $9,700 (American).  A fair chunk of money for the clothing item preferred by some Islamic women.

Some people were hoping that they'd write a waiver into the deal to cover tourists.  Well.....no, there is no waiver, period.

The local press....Neue Zurcher Zeitung....hinted that this will bother hotel owners and people relying upon tourism.....saying that the only burqa-clad women that ever appear in the mountainous district are wealthy, spend a lot on expensive hotels, and throw money around left and right as they stay in the mountainous tourist area.  "Culturally unfriendly gesture" got mentioned in the article.

From the half-dozen accounts I've read of the law passage....it'll likely be challenged in a Swiss court because of the wording and the overreach by the community.

Oddly, some tourist experts note that there are so many of the burqa-clad women now showing up in the region.....that regular tourists (Italians, Germans, Austrians, French, etc).....are a bit disturbed by the trend.  The locals think there is some balance required to the situation.

What'll happen?  My guess is that a handful of Islam gals will show up....mostly not knowing of the new law....the hotel management will quickly inform them.  There will be some frustrated feelings....questions over why the Swiss are unfairly treating them....and they quietly but angrily pack up and head to the next canton or state.

A year or two down the road.....another canton or two will pass the law, and eventually it'll be on some nation-wide referendum.  Probably a quarter of all Swiss people will say they are open-minded and culturally-aware (some odd trend among intellectuals).  The problem is.....they probably aren't in the majority.

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