Geneva to ban re­li­gious sym­bols on pub­lic staffers

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES GLOBAL -

Geneva: Res­i­dents of Geneva on Sun­day voted for a con­tro­ver­sial new “sec­u­lar­ism law”, which will among other things ban elected of­fi­cials and pub­lic em­ploy­ees from wear­ing vis­i­ble re­li­gious sym­bols.

More than 55% of vot­ers in the Swiss can­ton backed the law, fi­nal re­sults showed, de­spite warn­ings that it could lead to dis­crim­i­na­tion, par­tic­u­larly against Mus­lim women. Some crit­ics think it might vi­o­late the con­sti­tu­tion. Geneva Can­ton, which for cen­turies has been a cen­tre of re­li­gious free­dom and tol­er­ance, has been striv­ing to re­place a law on the books since 1907.

The new law’s stated am­bi­tion is to ex­pand the di­a­logue be­tween re­li­gious groups and the state, and to better de­fine the lim­its to re­li­gious ex­pres­sion in the pub­lic sphere.

Sup­port­ers say it will help clar­ify ex­ist­ing prin­ci­ples in the Geneva Con­sti­tu­tion to pro­tect the re­li­gious free­dom of be­liev­ers and non-be­liev­ers alike. London: Queen El­iz­a­beth’s 97year-old hus­band has vol­un­tar­ily given up his driv­ing li­cence af­ter a crash last month, Buck­ing­ham Palace said on Satur­day.

Philip es­caped without in­jury on Jan­uary 17 when the Land Rover he was driv­ing flipped in a col­li­sion with a car. “Af­ter care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion The Duke of Edinburgh has taken the de­ci­sion to vol­un­tar­ily sur­ren­der his driv­ing li­cence,” the royal palace said. The other driver, a 28-year-old woman, suf­fered cuts to her knee and a 45-year-old woman pas­sen­ger in the car, which also had a ninemonth-old baby on board, sus­tained a bro­ken wrist.

A burqa ban in Den­mark re­cently saw Dan­ish women de­fy­ing it by wear­ing full-face veils

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