Swiss region could hold vote on banning veil

May 19, 2011, Thursday/ 20:55:00

Campaigners in the southern Swiss canton (state) of Ticino say they have submitted enough votes to force a referendum on banning burqa-style garb in public.

The proposed law would prohibit all clothes intended to cover a person's face in public and isn't restricted to Islamic dress.

But the campaigners said Thursday they want to combat "Islamic fundamentalism" and the proposal comes months after France introduced a similar measure that was seen as a response to public fears about Islam.

If at least 10,000 of the signatures submitted are valid, the state government in Italian-speaking Ticino will have to organize a referendum.

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