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Female Muslim job applicant who refused handshake wins discrimination case against Swedish company

Female Muslim job applicant who refused handshake wins discrimination case against Swedish company

- A labour court in Sweden has ordered a company to compensate a 24-year-old lady with a sum of 40,000 kronor (about N1,575,000)

- The lady was said said to have been discriminated against for refusing a handshake

- She refused a handshake on religious grounds when she went for a job interview

A labour court in Sweden has awarded a Muslim lady in the country financial compensation after she was discriminated against in a job interview for refusing to shake hands on religious grounds.

The New York Times reports that the 24-year-old lady identified as Farah Alhajeh, went for an interview for a job as an interpreter at Sematix, a language services company in the city of Uppsala, north of Stockholm, in May 2016. gathers that Alhajeh said she placed her hand on her heart as a greeting and smiled when the person conducting the interview offered to introduce her to a male boss.

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Alhajeh, who was shown to the elevator, said she avoided physical contact because she was a Muslim.

She said: “It was like a punch in the face. It was the first time someone reacted, and it was a really harsh reaction.”

The court ruled that the company had discriminated against Alhajeh, and ordered it to pay 40,000 kronor (about N1,575,000) in compensation.

According to a statement by the court, Alhajeh “adheres to an interpretation of Islam that prohibits handshaking with the opposite sex unless it is a close member of the family.”

It said: "Woman’s refusal to shake hands with people of the opposite sex is a religious manifestation that is protected under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Talking about gender equality, Alhajeh said: “We live in a society where you have to treat women and men the same. I know that because I am Swedish. I have to practice my religion in a Swedish way that’s acceptable."

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Meanwhile, previously reported that the Swedish government reportedly began sending all 4.8m of the country’s households a public information leaflet telling the population, for the first time in more than half a century, what to do in the event of war.

Om krisen eller kriget kommer (If crisis or war comes) explains how people can secure basic needs such as food, water and heat, what warning signals mean, where to find bomb shelters and how to contribute to Sweden’s “total defence”.

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