Muslim Pc Refused to Shake Hands

January 29, 2007

Source: BBC News

A Muslim woman police officer refused to shake hands with the head of the Metropolitan Police on faith grounds.

The officer, who has not been named, was granted the exemption at a passing-out ceremony where new recruits met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair.

The woman's refusal was based on her view that her faith prevented her touching a man other than her husband or a close relative.

Sir Ian had questioned the validity of her refusal, Scotland Yard said.

A spokeswoman for the force said: "This request was only granted by members of training staff out of a desire to minimise any disruption to others' enjoyment and to ensure the smooth running of what is one of the most important events in an officer's career."

She added: "The officer maintains that she puts the requirements of being a police officer above her personal beliefs and only exercises the latter when she has choice to do so.