Muslim teacher may refuse to shake hands

8th November 2006, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2006, AMSTERDAM — A Muslim high school teacher shouldn't be sacked for refusing to shake hands with men, the Equal Opportunity Commission ruled on Tuesday.

8 November 2006

AMSTERDAM — A Muslim high school teacher shouldn't be sacked for refusing to shake hands with men, the Equal Opportunity Commission ruled on Tuesday.

The non-binding decision was the latest test of ill-defined rules of conduct for ethnic and religious minorities in Dutch schools and in the public service.

As in previous cases, the commission favored religious rights, despite complaints from many native Dutch who say immigrants are slow to integrate into society.

While the commission said the teacher was within her rights, it made no explicit recommendation to the school to reinstate her, Associated Press reported.

It also said there were other forms of greeting the teacher could use which still fulfilled the school's commitment to teach students respect and prepare them for the jobs market.

The teacher was fired from the Vader Rijn College in Utrecht, a school where 80 percent of students have Moroccan or Turkish backgrounds.

She had argued that shaking hands was not an everyday greeting in the education sector and that her refusal to do so did not hurt her ability to perform her tasks.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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