Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal

Muslim couple denied Swiss citizenship over handshake refusal
 Some devout Muslims say Islam does not permit physical contact with a person of the opposite sex, including handshakes, with the exception of some family members. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Couple additionally ‘confirmed superb problem in answering questions asked via people of the opposite intercourse’

The Swiss town of Lausanne has blocked a Muslim couple’s bid to end up Swiss nationals over their refusal to shake arms with participants of the opposite sex.

The municipality stated it refused to supply the couple’s citizenship application over their lack of respect for gender equality, Lausanne mayor Gregoire Junod stated.

He stated a municipal commission had wondered the couple several months in the past to decide in the event that they met the standards for citizenship, but had determined in the ruling made public on Friday that they overlooked the mark on integration.

He refused to disclose the couple’s nationalities or other identifying information, but stated they “did no longer shake arms with humans of the opposite intercourse”.

In addition they “showed high-quality trouble in answering questions asked by using human beings of the opposite intercourse,” he stated.

Some religious Muslims argue that Islam does not permit bodily touch with someone of the opposite sex, with the exception of certain immediate circle of relatives members.

Junod pointed out that freedom of notion and faith is enshrined inside the laws of the Canton of Vaud, which encompasses Lausanne.

But “non secular exercise does now not fall out of doors the law,” he pressured.

His vice-mayor, Pierre-Antoine Hildbrand, who become on the 3-member commission that questioned the couple stated he was “very happy with the selection” to disclaim the couple’s software.

“The constitution and equality among men and women prevails over bigotry,” he stated.

The couple has 30 days to enchantment the choice.

This is not the primary time refused handshakes have stirred tensions in


In 2016, there was national uproar over revelations that a middle school in the north of the country had allowed two Syrian brothers not to shake their teachers’ hands after they complained that doing so was against their religious beliefs if the teacher was a woman.

This ran counter to a deeply entrenched Swiss tradition of students shaking their teacher’s hands as a sign of respect, and amid the outcry regional authorities quickly overruled the school’s decision.