World

Muslim man denied citizenship for refusing to shake woman’s hand

Citizenship was just a handshake away.

A German court has upheld an administrative ruling that a Muslim man was rightly denied naturalization after refusing to shake the hand of the woman officiating his hearing, reported Deutsche Welle.

The unidentified man — a 40-year-old Lebanese doctor who arrived in Germany in 2002 — refuses to shake the hands of women for religious reasons.

The court in Baden-Württemburg ruled that those declining to partake of handshakes due to a “fundamentalist conception of culture and values” because they view women as “a danger of sexual temptation” were rejecting “integration into German living conditions.”

The clinic physician applied for citizenship through naturalization in 2012. In addition to signing a declaration of loyalty to the German constitution and decrying extremism, he aced the naturalization test with a perfect score, according to Deutsche Welle.

A German court has upheld an administrative ruling that a Muslim man was rightly denied naturalization after refusing to shake the hand of the woman officiating his hearing.

But he was denied citizenship after refusing to shake hands with the female official when the naturalization certificate was to be presented in 2015. The woman, also unidentified, withheld the certificate and rejected the application.

At his hearing, the doctor argued that he had promised his wife not to shake hands with women.

The court ruled that a handshake is a common nonverbal greeting and farewell that is independent of sex. It also stated that a handshake has legal bearing, symbolizing the conclusion of a contract.

The court found that anyone who refuses to shake hands on gender-specific grounds is in violation of the equality enshrined in the German constitution.

In 2018, neighboring nation Denmark passed legislation requiring a handshake with officials at naturalization ceremonies.

|Daily News

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