Danish lawmakers on Thursday passed a government-backed proposal to make new citizenship applicants shake hands with the official conducting the naturalisation ceremony.
The bill is being criticised for discriminating against Muslims,
as it requires those applying for Danish citizenship to commit to the country’s values and show respect for its government by shaking hands with its representative, according to The RT.
The new citizenship bill has been the subject of a heated debate since last summer. Authorities in Switzerland and France have also called “lack of assimilation” in the dismissal of citizenship to foreigners who decline to shake hands with officials.
The proposal was backed by Denmark’s three-party minority government, with the driving force behind the legislation being the Conservative Party and anti-immigrant Danish People’s Party.
Critics of the bill claim that the aim of this law is to discourage Muslims from seeking Danish citizenship, calling the proposal biased and describing it as a useless formality.
Danish Parliament earlier this year prohibited the wearing of face veils in public, which researchers say only 200 Muslim women practice in Denmark according to Reuters.
In 2015, the country reduced its social programs for asylum seekers, and a law passed in 2016 allows the authorities to confiscate migrants’ valuables to help cover the cost of their stays in Denmark.
This article was originally published in The RT