Swiss judge: Muslim students must shake female teachers' hands or face fine

The boys claimed physical contact with women who aren't relatives is a violation of their Muslim faith.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 23, 2016 10:24
1 minute read.
Handshake

Handshake [Illustrative]. (photo credit: INIMAGE)

Two Muslim students in a Swiss school were ordered by a local court to shake hands with their teachers or face a more than $5,000 fine.

According to The Daily Caller the two brothers received an exemption earlier this year from shaking their teachers' hands, but the school later overturned that exemption.

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The boys claimed physical contact with women who aren't relatives is a violation of their Muslim faith.

"The public interest with respect to equality between men and women and the integration of foreigners significantly outweighs the freedom of conscience (freedom of religion) of the students,” the education authority said at the time it overturned the exemption.

One of the brothers dropped out of school in protest. The younger brother decided to stay in school but continued to refuse handshakes with women.

The new court ruling states that handshakes are mandatory, and refusals may result in fines of 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,135).

“Shaking hands with teachers is deeply rooted in our society and culture,” said Monica Gschwind, the head of the local education department, according to The Daily Caller. “For me it is clear: the handshake is enforced – no ifs, no buts.”


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