A Swedish Muslim woman in Uppsala won a lawsuit after refusing to shake her interviewer’s hand for religious reasons.
A court awarded Fareh Alhajeh, 24, $4,350 Wednesday after she was rejected from a position as an interpreter for refusing to shake a male executive’s hand, the Daily Mail reported. The Swedish labor court ruled the interpreting company discriminated her because the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to refuse to shake hands based on religious reasons, according to the BBC.
The company said that it treats genders equally, and both men and women are expected to shake hands. However, the court ruled the practice was discriminatory against Muslims.
“I believe in God, which is very rare in Sweden … and I should be able to do that and be accepted as long as I’m not hurting anyone,” Alhajeh told the BBC.
Alhajeh preferred to place her hand over her heart instead of shaking hands with the male executive. (RELATED: Swedish Student Attempts To Stop Man’s Deportation ‘To Hell’)
“In my country … you cannot treat women and men differently. I respect that. That’s why I don’t have any physical contact with men or with women. I can live by the rules of my religion and also at the same time follow the rules of the country that I live in,” she added.
Alhajeh also noted that she wanted to bring this issue to court since it is an “important issue.”
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