Politician quits after refusing to shake women's hands
Politician quits after refusing to shake women's hands - The Local
A Swedish Green Party politician, who ignited a storm of controversy after refusing to shake hands with a female reporter on grounds that it violated his Muslim faith, announced on Wednesday that he was quitting politics.
Yasri Khan is the second Green Party politician to resign in acrimony this week.
During an interview with a female reporter from the TV4 broadcaster on Tuesday, Khan placed his hand over his heart instead of shaking her hand in greeting.
"People can greet each other in different ways. The most important thing is to show respect by seeing each other, to meet each other… to respect each other," Khan said during an interview with state broadcaster Swedish Radio.
Khan, also the general secretary of the organization Swedish Muslims for Peace and Justice, has faced strong criticism from within his party since the incident.
"It is unacceptable. You can't have a man in the party who can't greet women in the same way you greet a man. I'm upset," Stina Bergström, a Green Party parliamentarian, told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
In interviews with Swedish media, Khan lashed out at his critics and said that the debate, and his fellow Muslim Green Party member Mehmet Kaplan's resignation, had caused him to run out of energy.
"In today's political climate, I wonder if politics is right for me, and if I want to be a media circus clown," he told the Nyheter24 news site.