[Swiftwater Gazette] I like the hand shake

Elgin Alexander elginalexander at erols.com
Mon Apr 10 21:08:02 EDT 2017

Sometimes it's the little things that are most telling.


In Switzerland it has long been customary for students to shake the
hands of their teachers at the beginning and end of the school day.
It's a sign of solidarity and mutual respect between teacher and
pupil, one that is thought to encourage the right classroom
atmosphere. Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga recently felt
compelled to further explain that shaking hands was part of Swiss
culture and daily life.

And the reason she felt compelled to speak out about the handshake is
that two Muslim brothers, aged 14 and 15, who have lived in
Switzerland for several years (and thus are familiar with its mores),
in the town of Therwil, near Basel, refused to shake the hands of
their teacher, a woman, because, they claimed, this would violate
Muslim teachings that contact with the opposite sex is allowed only
with family members. At first the school authorities decided to avoid
trouble, and initially granted the boys an exemption from having to
shake the hand of any female teacher. But an uproar followed, as Mayor
Reto Wolf explained to the BBC: "the community was unhappy with the
decision taken by the school. In our culture and in our way of
communication a handshake is normal and sends out respect for the
other person, and this has to be brought home to the children in

Therwil's Educational Department reversed the school's decision,
explaining in a statement on May 25that the school's exemption was
lifted because "the public interest with respect to equality between
men and women and the integration of foreigners significantly
outweighs the freedom of religion." It added that a teacher has the
right to demand a handshake. Furthermore, if the students refused to
shake hands again "the sanctions called for by law will be applied,"
which included a possible fine of up to 5,000 dollars.

This uproar in Switzerland, where many people were enraged at the
original exemption granted to the Muslim boys, did not end after that
exemption was itself overturned by the local Educational Department.
The Swiss understood quite clearly that this was more than a little
quarrel over handshakes; it was a fight over whether the Swiss would
be masters in their own house, or whether they would be forced to
yield, by the granting of special treatment, to the Islamic view of
the proper relations between the sexes. It is one battle – small but
to the Swiss significant – between overweening Muslim immigrants and
the indigenous Swiss.

Naturally, once the exemption was withdrawn, all hell broke loose
among Muslims in Switzerland. The Islamic Central Council of
Switzerland, instead of yielding quietly to the Swiss decision to
uphold the handshaking custom, criticized the ruling in hysterical
terms, claiming that the enforcement of the handshaking is
"totalitarian" (!) because its intent is to "forbid religious people
from meeting their obligations to God." That, of course, was never the
"intent" of the long-standing handshaking custom, which was a
nearly-universal custom in Switzerland, and in schools had to do only
with encouraging the right classroom atmosphere of mutual respect
between instructor and pupil, of which the handshake was one aspect.
The Council said that if fines were given out it would take legal

About 400,000 Muslims live in Switzerland, 5% of the country's
population of 8 million.

Shortly after the teenage boys' refusal to shake hands became public,
their family’s application for Swiss citizenship filed in January was
put on hold. Authorities said they would investigate the circumstances
under which the boys’ father, an imam at a mosque, arrived in
Switzerland from Syria more than a decade ago.

The Swiss formulation of the problem – weighing competing claims -
will be familiar to Americans versed in Constitutional adjudication.
In this case "the public interest with respect to equality" of the
sexes and the "integration of foreigners" (who are expected to adopt
Swiss ways, not force the Swiss to exempt them from some of those
ways) were weighed against the "religious obligations to God" of
Muslims, and the former interests found to outweigh the latter.

What this case shows is that even at the smallest and seemingly
inconsequential level, Muslims are challenging the laws and customs of
the Infidels among whom they have been allowed to settle [i.e.,
stealth jihad toward sharia dominance]. Each little victory, or
defeat, will determine whether Muslims will truly integrate into a
Western society or, instead, refashion that society to meet Muslim

The handshake has been upheld and, what's more, a stiff fine now will
be imposed on those who continue to refuse to shake hands with a
female teacher. This is a heartening sign of non-surrender by the
Swiss. But the challenges of the Muslims within Europe to the laws and
customs of the indigenes have no logical end and will not stop. And
the greater the number of Muslims allowed to settle in Europe, the
stronger and more frequent their challenges will be. They are
attempting not to integrate, but rather to create, for now, a second,
parallel society, and eventually, through sheer force of numbers from
both migration and by outbreeding the Infidels, to fashion not a
parallel society but one society — now dominated by Muslim sharia.

The Swiss handshaking dispute has received some, but not enough, press
attention. Presumably, it's deemed too inconsequential a matter to
bother with. But the Swiss know better. And so should we.

There's an old Scottish saying that in one variant reads: "Many a
little makes a mickle." That is, the accumulation of many little
things leads to one big thing. That's what's happening in Europe
today. This was one victory for the side of sanity. There will need to
be a great many more.







This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software. 
www.avast.com <https://www.avast.com/antivirus>  


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman.theswiftwatergazette.com/pipermail/swiftwatergazette/attachments/20170410/320b6139/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the SwiftwaterGazette mailing list