Employment centre sentenced for discrimination of Muslim man

Sweden | 2010-02-08 | 31 comments
The Public Employment Centre has been sentenced to pay 60 000 SEK to a Muslim man. The reason is that they have denied him his regular unemployment benefits after he refused to shake hand with a woman at his presumptive trainee-job.

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In 2006, the 24 year old Alen Malik Crnalic applied for a trainee-place as welder at a company in Älmhult, south Sweden. But during the work interview, he refused to shake hands with the female CEO. As an active Muslim, Malik Crnalik is not allowed to touch women outside his family. Instead he greeted through placing his right hand on his chest and bowed.

After the interview his application was turned down. The company claimed that the reason was lack of competence but the public employment centre meant that his behaviour during the interview was the reason and therefore cancelled his unemployment benefits.

- I was called to a meeting and over there they said that I turned down the job-offer through this gesture. I was very disappointed and angry. I had worked hard to get a job, Alen Malik Crnalic said to Svenska Dagbladet.

Mr. Crnalic appealed the decision to the National Labour Market Board (AMS) which rejected his appeal. This was however followed by a new process where the Ombudsman for Discrimination (DO) sued the public employment centre for discrimination.

The final sentence by the District Court, which came recently, DO was correct. The court claims that it is clear that the man could not shake hands with the woman for religious reasons and therefore his unemployment benefits should not have been cancelled.

According to the CEO of the company, the decision to not give the man a trainee-job was not based on his way of greeting.

- He simply did not have the qualities that we demanded, she says to Swedish Television SVT.

But the CEO felt however insulted by the way she was treated by the man.

- I felt humiliated. He shook hands with everybody except for me, she says to SVT.

The sentence may have a guiding impact on future practice around such issues.

Readers' comments

2012-02-06 13:38 archu wrote:
he is a very religious kind of a guy. he had shake hand with that women atleast to show hospitality.
2012-02-06 13:34 archu wrote:
This article simplifies a very large and growing issue within Swedish culture. Cleanliness is next to godliness..!! why would that woman get offended if that fellow refused to shake her hand?
2010-04-12 20:42 nen wrote:
Nen wrote:it appears that most people have interpreted the refusal of the hand shake as a disrespectful gesture on malik´s part...but it could have been a gesture signaling respect considering the fact that he bowed down.It could have been different if he had spat on the ground following the refusal to shake her hand...benefit of boubt!
2010-03-09 08:52 Sven wrote:
You have to hand it to Islam, it does a damn fine job of putting women in their place. Allah Akbah!
2010-02-24 14:45 Aebrahem wrote:
I am really disappointed with the outrageous and disrespectful comments here. It is the same Psychopathic behaviour that leads to denying people even to dress themselves as they want(i.e. ban on headscarfs), which is blatent opression against women. And now you want to force them to shake hands with you. This is clear facism! By the way, none of my enlightened friends bothered to consider that the man bowed to the lady to greet her.
2010-02-12 02:14 Ann-Marie wrote:
@ Comments from Dubai. Have you ever heard the saying: When in Rome, do as the Romans do? That’s what the foreign people in Dubai do, that’s what’s done in polite society. And the same is expected in Sweden, however there are too many people without manners coming to this country.
2010-02-12 01:40 Andy wrote:
Multiculturalism would suggest some common ground being found. Some give and take if you will. I see none of that here, all I see is Muslims using their culture to get everything they can for free. I just cannot understand why there are people out there who do not see the Islamic movement into Sweden as a problem. Are they so blind? It is little wonder SD are increasing in their popularity, and Geert Wilders will become the next Dutch PM.
2010-02-11 11:29 someone wrote:
Why swedish suppport discrimination against women and give reward for such behavior? Shame on them.
2010-02-10 22:59 Robert wrote:
Comments from Dubai, why do you assume that the people writing comments here are the very same individuals who reside in Dubai?
2010-02-10 20:11 Comments from Dubai wrote:
I am very surprised to read some of these negative comments, but may be I should remind that we have many ppl from Sweden, UK and most of Europe and America who reside here in Dubai and very much respect this religous issue and still happy to stay and live here in dubai. So do I understand they all Hypocrites? or they can only respect these facts when there are benefits? I suppose a man should be the same where ever he is. I still say, I respect the form of justice in Sweden and UK after all.
2010-02-10 13:53 Clean hands wrote:
Cleanliness is next to godliness..!! why would that woman get offended if that fellow refused to shake her hand? he simply did not want to touch her, they ain´t sleeping together!! so what´s the big fuss?? perhaps the guy´s hands broke out with scabbies after shaking hands with someone.Hygiene these days is not too good and there´s a lot of people outhere with unwashed and unclean hands after defecating, picking their noses or rubbing parts of their bodies..No offense but that´s what it is..!!
2010-02-10 02:57 Adrian wrote:
The best part? You can bet that a portion of that payout will end up in the hands of white female prostitutes when he gets bored of demanding sex from his wife. 1400 years of violence, barbarism, hypocrisy, fear and subjugation. A cultural legacy to be proud of.
2010-02-10 02:21 El Cid wrote:
more proof that muslims can not co-exist with ...normal people wake up Europe , wake up Scandinavia ...your test is coming
2010-02-10 00:35 Madam Hum wrote:
The Islamisation of Europe is progressing quite nicely, don´t you think?
2010-02-09 22:47 skai wrote:
Multiculturalism ,diversity as done more harm to the West than any thing else. You people ought to learn more about Islam,what better place to start than
2010-02-09 21:20 Paul wrote:
In all european countries people seem to have the same problems with this backward and violent ideology called islam. Our culture is more and more on the retreat. Greetings from Germany
2010-02-09 20:16 Milan wrote:
Why doesn´t he move to Somalia then? There he can enjoy living under the islamic law.
2010-02-09 18:49 Chris King wrote:
Damn 14th century throwback.
2010-02-09 17:55 Sue wrote:
He wants to go about the workplace forcing his poit-of-view upon everyone else in the workplace. That view is that women are unclean; I highly doubt he is afraid that he will be overcome with lust by touching a woman´s hand. Why is he able to express disgust for other co-workers because they happen to be female. Religion goes too far in this instance.
2010-02-09 17:22 Christina wrote:
Isn´t multiculturalism wonderful, even more so with mostly one kind of immigrants in large numbers in a short span of time. Don´t worry all this non-sense will be over when political correctness, via legal intimidation (such as this case) or violence, completely takes over and nobody dares take a stand for the traditions of the host culture (like shaking hands, freedom of speech, etc).
2010-02-09 14:15 Nisse Manpower wrote:
Islam offers nothing to men but the false hope of a twisted paradise. It uses fear to suppress and stupify the masses, enriching and empowering imams and tyrants alike.
2010-02-09 13:41 Pragmatist wrote:
Astonishing - as white man if I went for a job interview at a company with a black CEO and refused to shake his hands on grounds of race I would clearly be in the wrong. Are feminists asleep at the wheel on this issue? Hello?
2010-02-09 12:08 UK anti racist wrote:
When the letter arrived for my husband with the date for him receiving his British citizenship, it asked to be informed if he is not prepared to shake hands! It is not part of his culture (he´s buddhist), but of course he´s prepared to shake hands. Here we are allowing people to become citizens of our country when they don´t even share our most basic forms of greeting. The insanity is to be found across Europe. No wonder Geert Wilders is under-going a trial worthy of Stalin´s Russia.
2010-02-09 09:44 Puneet Madaan wrote:
can´t the womens now sue him for discrimination ?
2010-02-09 08:35 Mrs wrote:
loved it
2010-02-09 08:24 gsw wrote:
If a man does not want to work for a women, fine. But why should the tax payers finance his religious scruples? It is a big planet, with lots of variety (there are even places where Shari´ah is practised - shudder). So, why live where you dislike the customs? OK, I personally do not like shaking hands, particularly if they do not smell very clean, but it is customary at a job interview. What really worries me is the amount of money awarded to peoples religious scruples and hurt feelings!
2010-02-09 04:27 Walter wrote:
No, misogyny needs to be dealt with in a straightforward manner, would a case of racial discrimination. Also, why is the Ombudsman for Discrimination doing Sharia law interpretation? The most likely explanation for all of this is that that Crnalic did not really want to find work, but still wished to retain his benefits. So, this handshaking nonsense was made to order for him.
2010-02-09 04:19 Jane wrote:
So Sweden just caved into a sexist loser just in the name of political correctness?
2010-02-09 04:14 Chris wrote:
In England he would have been given much more money and probably - after the CEO had been made to publicly apologize to him and then sacked he would have been made CEO of the company as well (even if he couldn´t weld to save his life!~)
2010-02-09 03:55 Ross wrote:
First off - "Only comments in English written in a respectable language will be published." ?? English IS a respectable language isn´t it??? But back to the main topic - doesn´t the woman who offered her hand in greeting to the non-multicultural muslim man - now be suing him for the grievous emotional pain he caused her by not greeting her as an equal ? And stereotyping her as someone who is not to be touched in accord with his Muslim psychological baggage?
2010-02-08 22:27 Andy wrote:
This article simplifies a very large and growing issue within Swedish culture. Where do we balance equality within the sexes and multiculturalism? It is evident from just this article alone that we can not have both.I truly hope that a compromise can be found here or just some middle ground maybe. If not, I can not be optimistic.

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