May 27, 2016
Muslim Students to Pay N1m Fine If They Refuse To Shake Their Teachers’ Hands
Regional education authorities in Switzerland has ruled that guardians of students who refuse handshakes with their teacher face a fine of up to 5,000 Swiss Francs (£3,400; $5,040, N1m).
According to NewsWeek, shaking hands with teachers is a Swiss tradition and the latest ruling was made after two Muslim students, both boys, refused to shake the hand of their female teachers for religious reasons.
As a result of the ruling, all schools in the northern region of Basel-Country can impose a fine on parents of children who refuse to follow the tradition.
The ruling came after some boys had argued with teachers and refused a hand shake because it was against their religious beliefs.
“A teacher has the right to demand a handshake,” the authorities said in a statement.
The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (ICCS) threatened a court challenge if the fines were imposed on students, saying that the regional authority had overstepped the mark in changing the ruling by the school.
The Federation of Islamic Organizations of Switzerland (IOS) did not frown at the tradition of handshaking in schools. However, it said that the legal ruling was too far.
“It could have been resolved more gently by involving the Federation of Muslims in Basel, which could have acted as a mediator,” a spokesman, Pascal Gemperli, said.