The Dutch human rights institute has rejected criticism of its recent decision about a potential bus driver refusing to shake hands with women, saying respect for religious differences is a key value in society.

The institute was responding to angry comments made by The Hague city councilors about its backing for a Muslim man who had applied for a job as a bus driver but later said he would not shake the hand of female passengers. The bus company then cancelled the interview.

VVD councillor Queeny Raijkowski told the Telegraaf earlier this week the decision was 'political correctness gone too far'.

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