A Muslim couple was denied Swiss citizenship after they refused to shake hands with the members of the opposite sex. Citing 'their lack of respect for gender equality' the mayor Gregoire Junod of Lausanne refused to grant them citizenship and become Swiss nationals. The couple had finished the other procedures months before, but their refusal for handshake has disqualified them. Hyderabad Man Seeks Indian Citizenship for Sister Who Returned From Pakistan After 8-Month Stay in 1955.
The municipal commission had questioned them months ago to see if they met all the criteria. In the public ruling on Friday, August 17, the couple was denied the citizenship as they sensed their discomfort when being placed with a person of opposite sex. The nationality of the couple has not been revealed. Mayor Junod was quoted to the press, "They 'did not shake hands with people of the opposite sex.' They also 'showed great difficulty in answering questions asked by people of the opposite sex.' He also pointed out that though freedom of belief and religion is enshrined in their laws, religious practice does not fall outside the law. France Gives Citizenship to 'Spiderman' Immigrant Who Scaled Floors to Save a Child.
Some Muslims argue that Islam does not permit physical contact with a person of the opposite sex unless they are immediate family members. The vice-mayor who was one among the people who questioned the couple said that he was satisfied with the final decision. He said, " The constitution and equality between men and women prevails over bigotry." The couple now has 30 days to make an appeal to the decision.