Excerpt:

Religious belief is no excuse for refusing to shake a teacher's hand, authorities in a northern Swiss region ruled Wednesday, reversing one school's controversial decision to grant exemptions for Muslim pupils unwilling to touch the opposite sex.

Parents of pupils who refuse to shake a teacher's hand at schools in the northern Swiss canton of Basel-Country could now face fines of up to 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,000, 4,500 euros), regional education authorities ruled.

"A teacher has the right to demand a handshake," they said in a statement.


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