A Muslim man refused to shake hands with the state representative during her naturalization ceremony in Germany, which resulted in his citizenship application being rejected, CNews reported on Monday (October 19th).
The man in question, a 40-year-old Lebanese man who has lived in Germany since 2002, has applied for naturalization. He was granted naturalization, but during the ceremony for the certificate of nationality, the man refused to shake hands with the German state official who was to hand over his certificate.
This gesture then earned him the rejection of his request. The man is a doctor by profession. During his entire stay in Germany, he systematically refused to shake hands with women for religious reasons.
The handshake is part of German culture
The Baden-Württemberg administrative court delivered its verdict last Friday, mentioning that the doctor “considered women a danger of sexual temptation”.
In the same verdict, the judges ruled that the man had a “fundamentalist conception of religion”, and that he therefore rejects “German living conditions”, and that is why he cannot be German citizen.
The Baden-Württemberg court judge added that the handshake is the symbol of the conclusion of a contract in German culture, which gives it legal significance.
The Lebanese could still appeal this judgment. In fact, in his defense, he said he promised his wife that he was not going to shake hands with other women.
Muslim woman who refuses to shake hands wins case
A similar case took place in 2016, this time in Sweden. A Muslim woman refused to shake hands with an employer during a job interview. The employer therefore showed him the door.
The woman who sued the employer won her case, thanks to Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The company had to pay him 3,800 euros in compensation, Le Parisien reports.