The Germany news agency Deutsche Welle reports:
Man denied German citizenship for refusing to shake woman’s hand
A doctor who studied medicine in Germany and now works as a senior physician in a clinic applied for citizenship through naturalization, for which he signed a declaration of loyalty to the German constitution and against extremism. He passed the naturalization test with the best possible score.
Nevertheless, he was not granted citizenship because he refused to shake hands with the responsible official when the naturalization certificate was handed. The woman therefore withheld the certificate and rejected the application.
Last Friday a German court ruled that someone who rejects a handshake with a woman due to a “fundamentalist conception of culture and values” was rejecting “integration into German living conditions.”
But this has nothing to do with ‘fundamentalism’ or a so-called “Salafist perspective” on gender relations. It has always been normative sunni Muslim practice, shared interestingly with many Orthodox Jews who also will not shake hands with members of the opposite sex with whom they are not related. It is an expression of the etiquette to be observed between unmarried people.
(Negiah (Hebrew: נגיעה), literally “touch”, is the concept in Jewish law (Halakha) that forbids or restricts physical contact with a member of the opposite sex, except for one’s spouse outside the niddah period, and certain close relatives to whom one is presumed not to have sexual attraction). Source
In light of the numerous cases of unwanted touching and sexual harassment in the West, one might have hoped that such a chaste code of ethics be viewed with respect, even admiration.
But this case involved a Muslim man.
Just imagine the international outcry if Germany had refused citizenship to a Jew because of their faith!