Excerpt:

A petition in Canton Ticino could force a referendum on prohibiting women from wearing burqas in public, a first for the country.

A local committee in Ticino, Switzerland's Italian-speaking region, said it has collected 11,316 signatures, over a thousand more the required number to launch a referendum. Canton authorities will check the signatures over the next few days, reports say and could then call for a referendum.

According to local newspaper Corriere del Ticino, as well as banning burqas, niqabs and other Islamic headresses, the initiative also aims to ban the use of balaclavas and other headgear that disguise people's faces. These are sometimes worn by people attending football matches in Switzerland.


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