No handshake, no citizenship, French court tells Algerian woman

Source: The New York Times

Photo

Newly naturalized French citizens during a ceremony in Nice in 2014. CreditEric Gaillard/Reuters

PARIS — An Algerian woman’s refusal to shake hands with male officials at a French naturalization ceremony is sufficient grounds for denying her citizenship, France’s top administrative court has ruled.

In its decision — issued on April 11 but reported only this week — the court, known as the Council of State, said that the woman’s refusal “in a place and at a moment that are symbolic, reveals a lack of assimilation.”

The woman, who has not been identified, married a French citizen in Algeria in 2010 and filed for French citizenship five years later. At her naturalization ceremony in 2016 in Grenoble, in southeastern France, the woman refused to shake the hands of a local state official and of a local elected official, both male, citing her religious convictions.

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