05 April 2016

Swiss legal expert to rule on Muslim pupils' handshake exemption

A Swiss legal expert will decide on the validity of a controversial ruling that allows male Muslim students to avoid shaking hands with female teachers for religious reasons, an official said Tuesday.

The decision reached by a school in Switzerland's northern municipality of Therwil sought to reach a compromise with two male students, aged 14 and 15, and their families, but ended up causing uproar and fierce public debate over the limits of religious freedom.

"We have asked for an expert opinion from our legal service," said Deborah Murith, spokeswoman for the education department in the canton of Basel-Country, where Therwil is located. [AFP] Read more