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World Swiss boys' refuse to shake female teacher's hand, face $5,000 fines

The canton reversed the school's earlier compromise with the boys, who are Muslim Syrian immigrants. Switzerland, like much of Europe, faces cultural challenges amid an influx of asylum-seekers.

After two Syrian boys in Switzerland asked to be excused from shaking a female teacher's hand because they said it violated their faith, their canton announced Wednesday that families of children who refuse to participate in the tradition that starts and ends the school day will be fined.

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