A new law passed in Switzerland Monday states that any woman wearing a burqa in public in the Swiss canton of Ticino will be fined up to 10,000 Swiss Francs, (£6,500, or roughly $10,000). Ticino is in the Swiss Italian-speaking region of the country.
Giorgio Ghiringhelli, the main author of the proposal, claims that the legislation will serve as a message to "islamist fundamentalists," according to The Huffington Post. When the law was first proposed in 2013, almost two-thirds of voters did so in favor of the ban.
Muslims make up only 0.5 percent of the Swiss population, The Independent reported.
The ban has been received with scorn from human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, who called Monday "a black day for human rights in Ticino," The Huffington Post noted. Many have voiced their support on Twitter, supporting the ban wholeheartedly, while others see the ban as an unveiled statement of Islamophobia. Twitter user AdrienneWatsonX wrote that banning the burqa will do nothing to stop extremists, and that the legislation is simply a show of bigotry.
The law will make no exception for tourists- even though Ticino is a popular destination, with 40,000 visitors from the Middle East last year alone, according to The New York Times.
Switzerland is not alone in its intolerance for the burqa. France, Belgium and the Netherlands have implemented similar bans in light of heightened paranoia surrounding acts of terror in Europe, The Express reported.