A $5000 fine can be applied if students refuse to shake hands of their teachers in Switzerland


Initially, the school ruled that the two children would not have to shake any teacher’s hand, whether male or female but later a debate about immigration and integration erupted in the Swiss press. The concept of religious freedom was opposed to the other of the Swiss tradition of gender equality. Discrimination was invoked and the school district’s decision was reversed saying that in a such situation a fine will be applied. “The social gesture of handshake is important for the employability of the students in their later professional lives,” authorities said. Muslims are thought to constitute about 5 percent of Switzerland’s population and other disputes involving education existed. At this time even prominent Muslim exponents in Switzerland consider accepting shaking hands as a duty to be achieved despite the religious precepts. “Can the denial of shaking hands be more important than the Islamic commandment of mutual respect?” Montassar Ben Mrad, president of Federation of Islamic Organizations in Switzerland, had said in the statement.


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