Thursday, May 26, 2016

Switzerland: Muslim students face $5K fine if they refuse Swiss teachers' handshakes

This is very interesting on a couple of fronts. 
We have a clash of cultures mixed in with government overreach.  Getting fined for refusing to shake a hand is ridiculous.  But, refusing to shake a hand because of a religious belief is a bit much too.
USA Today reports educational authorities in Switzerland ruled Wednesday that the parents or guardians of students who refuse to shake a teacher's hand — a Swiss tradition — can be fined up to $5,000.

The decision comes after a school in the northern town of Therwil, near Basel, agreed last month to allow two teenage Muslim boys to refuse to shake hands with their female teachers on religious grounds. The school also decided the boys would not shake hands with male teachers to avoid discrimination.
The incident sparked a national debate — Swiss students often shake their teachers’ hands at the beginning and end of the day.

The two brothers, ages 14 and 15, had argued that shaking a female teacher’s hand was against their beliefs as Muslims because physical contact with the opposite sex is allowed only with family members.

One of the brothers posted material in support of the Islamic State on his Facebook page, the Basler Zeitung website reported.

The school's decision was temporary, pending legal advice from the regional government.

More here