Muslim Woman Denied French Citizenship For Refusing To Shake Hands With An Official

Algerian Muslim woman, wishing to stay anonymous, has been denied French citizenship because she refused to shake hands with a senior official during the ceremony.  As BBC News reported, the woman clarified that her gesture was to abide by her religious principles and not meant to offend anyone.
She said that her religious beliefs stopped her from shaking hands with an unrelated man, however, her refusal lead to her being refused the citizenship.

Addressing the issue and underlying cause of the denial, a government ruling said that her act showed her beliefs don’t align with that of the French community.
The ruling said that her gesture showed she was “not assimilated into the French community” and denied her citizenship. (Source: BBC News)
She was termed ‘not assimilated’ as she denied the symbolic ritual in French culture.

However, the reason does serve as a legitimate under the laws. According to country’s civil code, spouse of a national can be denied naturalisation if they are suspected to be unwelcoming, intolerant and unaccepting towards the country’s beliefs and lifestyle.At her citizenship ceremony in south-eastern Isère region, around Grenoble, she refused to shake hands with a senior official or a local politician. The ruling said that the law has been made to be improperly followed. Previously, exemption lead to an outrage across the country.

The woman is married to a French man since eight years. She appealed against the decision but France’s highest administrative court has upheld the ruling of the case. She said that she hasn’t violated any rule, calling the act as discrimination against a certain religious community, falling in the domain of ‘abuse of power’. France has previously been criticized for their extremely rigid beliefs against Muslims after their unforgiving ban on burqa. The ban instigated a hot debate regarding country’s policies for religious minorities.
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