It really annoys me when stuff like this has to go to a court when common decency and understanding should prevail.
A Muslim woman in Sweden has won compensation after her job interview was ended when she refused a handshake.
Farah Alhajeh was applying for a job as an interpreter when she declined to shake the hand of a male interviewer for religious reasons.
She placed her hand over her heart in greeting instead.
The Swedish labour court ruled the company had discriminated against her and ordered it to pay 40,000 kronor ($4,350; £3,420) in compensation.
Some Muslims avoid physical contact with members of the opposite sex, except for those in their immediate family.
The interpreting company in the town of Uppsala had argued that its staff were required to treat men and women equally and could not allow a staff member to refuse a handshake based on gender.
But the discrimination ombudsman said she had tried to avoid upsetting anyone by placing her hand over her heart when greeting both men and women.
Sweden’s labour court found the company was justified in demanding equal treatment for both sexes – but not in demanding that it be in the form of a handshake only.
The Muslim tradition of avoiding physical contact with strangers of the opposite sex is well-known and perfectly fine. Some Christian, Jewish, and other religions have the same cultural quirk. And it’s fine… who cares? She woman in the case didn’t make a big deal about it and offered a perfectly reasonable alternative greeting. How many thousands of kronors were wasted to tell everyone in the case to “just don’t be a jerk”?