Sweden woman who refused handshake at job interview wins case

Published: August 17, 2018
I can live by the rules of my religion, also at the same time follow rules of the country that I live in, says Farah. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

I can live by the rules of my religion, also at the same time follow rules of the country that I live in, says Farah. PHOTO COURTESY: BBC

A Swedish Muslim woman has won compensation after her job interview was ended when she refused a handshake, BBC reported.

Twenty-four-year-old Farah Alhajeh was applying for an employment as an interpreter when she declined to shake the hand of a male interviewer for religious reasons.

Farah placed her hand over her heart in greeting instead.

The Swedish labour court ruled the company had discriminated against the job seeker and ordered it to pay 40,000 kronor ($4,350) in compensation.

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According to the Sweden’s discrimination ombudsman’s office, which represented Farah, the judgement had taken into account “the employer’s interests, the individual’s right to bodily integrity, and the importance of the state to maintain protection for religious freedom”.

“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,” she said soon after the judgement.

While explaining about her faith and women’s rights, Farah further said: “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.

This story originally appeared on BBC


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Reader Comments (7)

  • Saad
    Aug 17, 2018 - 6:42AM

    She won $4000 but she lost the chance to find another job. Recommend

  • Komal s
    Aug 17, 2018 - 6:44AM

    Classic case of won the battle but lost the war. Incidents like these do not help Muslims cause. Shaking hands is the basic courtesy in a western society, to bring religion into that basic human behaviour and saying my god prohibits me shaking hands does the most injustice to muslims living across the world. Hopefully Muslims realise this is not the best way to bring about positive perception about Muslims and Islam in western society. Recommend

  • Joseph Fischer
    Aug 17, 2018 - 10:29AM

    This narrowmindedness will not do any good to her or community or humanity. Anything that refuses to adapt to changing times, culture, weather, etc., rots.Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 17, 2018 - 11:54AM

    Bravo to this woman and the laws of Sweden. She stood by her principles and didnt compromise her belief to secure a job. Appreciation for laws of Sweden which gives liberty to all. Recommend

  • Mr Keema
    Aug 17, 2018 - 1:36PM

    What has she lost ?? She has pleased God for her abode in the hereafter. Recommend

  • amier jouley
    Aug 17, 2018 - 3:03PM

    subhanalah u make all muslim proud Recommend

  • Mohammed mirza
    Aug 17, 2018 - 5:47PM

    I laud her stance. She has praised her Allah. Allah will provide her a better job . Recommend

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