Islamophobic ban by Switzerland

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UNFORTUNATELY there is no end to Islamophobic incidents in the Western countries. Those claiming to be the flag bearers of human rights have now themselves become the violators and abusers.

On the eve of international women rights, Swiss voters, in a referendum, approved a ban on full facial coverings, including niqab and burqa.

The result means facial covering will be banned in all publicly accessible places including on the streets, in public offices, on public transport, in restaurants, shops and in the countryside. One fails to understand this ban.

One fails to understand as why the European countries are so scared from the niqab and burqa?  This anti- Muslim ban is nothing but impinges on the basic human rights of Muslim women.

Such bans are also in place in several other European countries including France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.

France in fact was the first country which placed a ban on niqab in 2011 and more surprisingly the European Court of Human Rights upheld the ban in 2014.

It will not be wrong to say that currently there is no respect for the religious rights of Muslims in Europe rather hurdles are being in their way to practise their religion.

Over the years, the Muslim places of worship have also been shut in different European countries whilst desecration of holy personalities has been allowed under the garb of freedom of expression.

This really depicts the double standards of the western states where anti Semitism is considered a crime but insulting Islam is allowed under the guise of freedom of expression.

With such kind of posture, the European countries are playing with fire and taking their societies towards extremism.

Whilst leaders like Prime Minister Imran Khan and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan have openly spoken against the rising incidents of Islamophobia, other Muslim leaders should also forcefully add their voice against this hate and discrimination against Muslims.

Human rights organizations and the UN should also rise above mere lip servicing and take practical steps to protect the fundamental rights of Muslims.

They should support efforts to immediately fight against this injustice and to criminalize insulting Islam and its values.