04 April 2016

School defends exempting Muslim students from handshake

A school district in canton Basel Country stands behind its decision to allow some Muslim students to not participate in a ritual of shaking their female teacher’s hand before and after class, despite the controversy the move has unleashed across Switzerland.

Last week it was reported that two Muslim students in a school in Therwil, a town outside Basel, did not wish to shake their female teacher’s hand along with the rest of the class because it went against their religious principles.

In Swiss schools, teachers often greet students with a handshake before and after a class. The school exempted the two students from the ritual, resulting in a nationwide debate over whether the exception should have been made. [swissinfo] Read more