Muslim man refused German citizenship after refusing to shake woman’s hand

A Muslim man has been refused German citizenship after he refused to shake a female official’s hand.

The 40-year-old Lebanese doctor received the maximum score in the test for applicants of citizenship, but was denied at the final stage of the process after he failed to shake the hand of the woman responsible for processing the documents.

The Muslim doctor from Lebanon said he refuses to shake women’s hands on religious grounds. He applied for the country’s citizenship through naturalization in 2012, thus agreeing to sign a declaration of loyalty to the German constitution and denouncing extremism.

The Lebanese, who has been working in Germany since 2002went to court to fight the decision, but the Administrative Court of Baden- Württemberg ruled that a handshake represents the legal conclusion of a contract.

The handshake is therefore “deeply rooted in social, cultural and legal life, which shapes the way we live together,” the judge said, as quoted by the Deutsche Welle.


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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.