A man has been denied his German citizenship after he refused to shake a woman's hand at the citizenship ceremony and, since the news of the unusual scenario broke, opinions have been seriously divided.
Here's what we know so far...
After living and working in the country for thirteen years, a doctor's dream of becoming an official German citizen has gone up in smoke...
via: GettyAnd it was all over a handshake.
The gesture of a handshake has been an obligatory form of greeting in Western culture for centuries now...
via: GettyAnd it is used in formal settings as a sign of chivalry and respect in countless countries all over the world.
So, of course...
via: GettyYou'd be forgiven for wondering why such a common-place gesture caused such drastic repercussions for a dedicated medical professional.
Well, it turns out that things weren't so straight forward in this instance.
via: GettyThe doctor, who had moved to Germany from Lebanon in 2002, had refused a handshake with a female official, thus spurring the country to revoke his new citizenship.
Many people have been left outraged by the country's decision...
@dwnews That's kind of facizm!!! That's against human rights. Where is religious freedom— Osman Plevne 🟢🇹🇷 (Kızıl Elma) (@Osman Plevne 🟢🇹🇷 (Kızıl Elma))1603032072.0
@dwnews So Germany not respescting his religion now?— Sarki Shehu (@Sarki Shehu)1603032061.0
@dwnews @piamorin Maybe the citizenship test wasn't all the well designed it should have been. That is, if gender e… https://t.co/doLv95SGZ9— Victoria Prieto (@Victoria Prieto)1603033309.0
@oneiropagides @dwnews This is a prejudiced attitude and should be avoided. Sorry— Mig (@Mig)1603032841.0
@dwnews This shouldn’t be a problem at all. Handshake is not part of any federal/local laws and he can simply explain his reason why.— catochat (@catochat)1603036468.0
However, on the other hand...
@MailOnline This was exactly the right decision for Germany to make.— victim of Fraud (@victim of Fraud)1603104154.0
@dwnews Oh he definately deserved what he got!— Atharva Ranade (@Atharva Ranade)1603031804.0
@dwnews With due respect, he so deserves it--the rejection! Perhaps an integration into German society starts w/ t… https://t.co/zwDxHsBB0P— Sano Ray (@Sano Ray)1603090093.0
@dwnews @cchukudebelu The authorities took the right decision. First step in gaining citizenship in your adopted co… https://t.co/qmmuqM7FhK— Onah (@Onah)1603085068.0
@dwnews It’s not a religious right to discriminate against women.— rEaliSTiC obJeCT (@rEaliSTiC obJeCT)1603106114.0
Now, there is a reason behind his refusal.
via: GettyThe man, who is a Muslim, had married a Syrian national around ten years ago and, in doing so, vowed to never again touch the hand of another woman. In 2018, he also decided to stop partaking in handshakes altogether.
And he kept this pact during his acceptance ceremony.
via: GettyThough he passed his citizenship test with flying colors, signed the necessary paperwork vowing to uphold the constitution and reject extremism, things went ship-shaped at the ceremony, which was held back in 2015.
A female official went to shake his hand upon the completion of his citizenship...
via: GettyFor him only to refuse out of respect for his wife.
Now, while some might simply see this as a sign of love for his partner...
via: GettyThe German officials in attendance didn't quite see it that way.
The court in Mannheim said the handshake incident was incompatible with the constitution's guarantee of equality between men and women.
via: GettyAnd now, after 5 years of deliberation, they have decided to revoke his citizenship entirely.
On the matter, the court said:
via: Getty"If the applicant refuses to shake hands for gender-specific reasons which are incompatible with the constitution, there is no integration into German living conditions... The man's refusal to shake hands with the official also came from a belief that women posed a 'threat of sexual temptation.'"
via: Getty"This applies in particular if the refusal to shake hands with the opposite sex - as in this case - serves to further a Salafist conviction about the relationship between men and women."