That’s because Muslim extremists consider it the height of so-called “Islamophobia” to require Muslim women to shake a man’s hand, especially a NON-Muslim man’s hand.
SKY News Danish law now says if they refuse to shake hands, they will be denied citizenship. (And hopefully deported. Why are Muslims being offered citizenship in Denmark in the first place?)
Until she was made speaker in 2015, Mrs Kjaersgaard was a leading figure in the Danish People’s Party, a right wing group with generally anti-EU and anti-immigration views.
And, while the she has taken up a role that is supposed to be politically neutral, the party she is still a member of could end up holding the reigns of power at the next Danish general election. Mrs Kjaersgaard dismissed concerns about the interpretation of the law, saying that no legal investigation or “absurd speculations” on whether Muslims should be allowed to wear gloves to shake peoples’ hands was necessary.
Her statement comes after the Danish parliament tightened the criteria for obtaining a citizenship in June. Part of the new criteria is that prospective citizens must participate in a ceremony with the mayor of the municipality they will live in, where handshakes are a central part.
Newsweek Denmark has passed a law stating individuals who take citizenship tests must shake hands during ceremonies, in a move seen as deliberately targeting religiously conservative Muslims.
The law, approved on Thursday by the country’s right-wing coalition, states that from January 1, would-be citizens undergoing Denmark’s naturalization process must perform the contact gesture with the presiding dignitary, such as the local mayor. Those who refuse would be denied citizenship.
The measure has been met with anger, with campaigners arguing it discriminates against conservative Muslims who do not shake hands with members of the opposite sex for religious reasons. Instead, such Muslims may prefer to place their hand on their chest. Some conservative Jewish people also follow a similar rule.
Gloves, which some Muslim women wear to conceal their skin, are also prohibited at citizenship ceremonies by the new law.
Martin Henriksen, the spokesman on immigration for the nationalist Danish People’s Party who is an outspoken critic of Islam told The New York Timeshe hoped the law would create a domino-effect, leading to a ban on women wearing veils at citizenship ceremonies.
“If you arrive in Denmark, where it’s custom to shake hands when you greet, if you don’t do it it’s disrespectful,” he told the newspaper. “If one can’t do something that simple and straightforward, there’s no reason to become a Danish citizen.”