Muslim men refuse German citizenship because of refusal to shake hands | Instant News

A German court ruled that a Muslim man should be denied citizenship after he refused to shake the hand of a female immigration official for religious reasons.

An unidentified 40-year-old doctor from Lebanon applied for citizenship in 2012 and later passed the exam with a perfect score, The German newspaper Deutsche Welle (DW) reports.

As part of the process, he also signed a declaration condemning extremism and declaring his allegiance to the German constitution.

But when she refused a female official’s handshake at the 2015 naturalization ceremony, she withheld her certificate and ultimately rejected her application, the newspaper reported.

The doctor argued that he simply refused to shake his hand because he promised his wife that he would not shake another woman’s hand, and her religious beliefs prevented her from doing that.

He was unsuccessful in bringing his case to the Stuttgart Administrative Court before filing an appeal to the Baden-Wurttemberg Administrative Court.

But the high court ruled that anyone who refused to shake hands for gender-specific reasons had violated provisions on equality in the German constitution.

The handshake can be considered a “fundamentalist conception of culture and values” and this refusal can be interpreted as a rejection of “integration into German living conditions,” The Independent reports.

The court also found that the handshake had legal significance because it symbolized the completion of a contract, DW reported.

Doctors can now appeal the ruling to federal court, the outlet said.


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