Muslim Woman Denied French Citizenship Because She Refused Handshake

The woman argued that her “religious beliefs” prevented her from shaking hands with a male senior official presiding over the citizenship ceremony in the southeastern Isere region in June 2016, as well as with a local politician.

The government said her behaviour showed she was “not assimilated into the French community” - one of the reasons it can invoke under the civil code to oppose citizenship for the spouse of a French national.

The woman, who has been married to a Frenchman since 2010, appealed the April 2017 decision, calling it an “abuse of power”.

But the Council of State, the court of last appeal in such matters, ruled the government “had not improperly applied” the law.

Similar action was taken against a Muslim-owned supermarket in France that was shut down in December, for the owners’ decision to refuse the sale of alcohol and pork.

Authorities said the Good Price mini-market in Colombes, located in Paris was shut down for “violating its terms of lease”.

The supermarket is required to be a “general food store” according to its licence and must meet the needs of all of its inhabitants, meaning it must sell pork and alcohol, but that defeats the purpose of its halal credentials.

The owner Soulemane Yalcin opened his store in 2015 and turned it into a supermarket that sells halal produce.