Denmark’s new citizenship law shows Europe’s changing attitude toward Islam

Starting January 1, Denmark will require anyone applying for citizenship to shake hands with the officiating dignitary at the naturalization ceremony. Those who refuse will not be granted citizenship.

It may surprise you that this law is extremely controversial. Some Muslims refuse on religious grounds to shake hands with members of the opposite sex. The law was set up with this in mind—aiming to excluded these Muslims from Danish citizenship.

Opponents of the new law were quick to criticize it as awkward and useless. “It’s absurd that the immigration minister thinks this is an important thing to spend time on. Shaking hands does not show if you are integrated or not,” said Kasper Ejsing Olesen, the mayor of the Danish town of Kerteminde.