Muslim boy ordered to shake hands with female teachers after losing appeal in Swiss school

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A school in a Swiss canton has dismissed the appeal of a 15-year-old Muslim boy who had been ordered to shake hands with his teacher. The case triggered nationwide outrage back in May after the student said that the ritual of handshakes was counter to Islam.

The school council in Therwil, Basel-Country rejected the complaint filed by his parents aimed at overturning the decision ordering the boy to shake hands with teachers. The school issued a statement on Monday saying it was in teacher’s right to demand a handshake.

The council’s decision was hailed by the head of the city’s education department, Monica Gschwind. The official said the ritual of handshakes is not only a sign of decency but is also “deeply rooted in our society and culture,” adding that she was “pleased” with the school’s ruling.

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