Racist Swiss campaigner behind burqa ban seeks to outlaw Muslim prayers in public
EUROPE

Racist Swiss campaigner behind burqa ban seeks to outlaw Muslim prayers in public

A Swiss political campaigner who stirred up divisiveness and hatred against Muslims in Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, now wants to make public prayers illegal

News Service Yeni Şafak

A right-wing extremist Giorgio Ghiringhelli, who is one of the key figures behind the burqa ban in the southern canton of Ticino, continues to escalate his aggressive “xenophobic and racist” attitudes towards Muslims in Switzerland.

He has currently petitioned the cantonal parliament to make Muslim public prayers illegal, according to Swiss news website The Local.

The campaigner also called for a “policy of zero tolerance towards the subtle strategies of conquering Europe and radicalisation of Muslims” on his website.

Ghiringhelli, who refers to himself as 'il Guastafeste' (“the killjoy” or “the spoilsport”), said he does not want to discriminate against Muslims in particular while still managing to ban the prayers in public.

A parliamentary committee in Ticino has already overwhelmingly rejected Ghiringhelli’s petition and the same is likely to happen when the proposal is discussed in an upcoming parliamentary session.

Ghiringhelli said that if if the Grand Council again rejects his petition in mid-February, he will launch a regional referendum.

He would have to collect 7,000 signatures from eligible voters in 100 days to trigger a referendum on the issue.

The right-wing Swiss People’s Party (SVP), which is the country’s largest political party, is also backing Ghiringhelli’s racist request, according to reports.

Ticino, bordering Italy to the south, has some 350,000 residents, or about 4.2 percent of Switzerland’s population.

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