Muslim schoolboys in Australia ‘excused’ from shaking hands with women

The Sydney school says it wants to respect everyone's cultural, religious beliefs

February 20, 2017

A public school in Australia has allowed Muslim schoolboys to refuse shaking hands with women.

Students of Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College opted to place a hand across their chest instead of shaking hands of female presenters at an award ceremony.

Muslim woman quits job after being told to shake hands with male colleagues

The New South Wales Department of Education agreed to this protocol after consulting with parents, staff and the students.

A spokesperson of the department said that the principal explained the invited guests on the school’s 2016 presentation day to recognise and respect the cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds of all students, with the intent to promote an open and tolerant attitude.

No ifs and buts: Muslim boy must shake hands with female teachers

The Sydney school’s interpretation of hadith is controversial among Muslim leaders in Australia. Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Keysar Trad said that he used to follow the teachings until he realised that the country’s Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed was willing to shake women’s hands.

“The Islamic teachings offer great respect and protection for women,” he said. “There are differences in interpretation.”

Trad said, “I used to apologise profusely and pray they were not offended, I used to feel so guilty. I did some research and they explained the whole idea is to protect women from unwelcome touching, if it’s an innocent handshake, it’s OK. It’s better not to offend a woman. I changed my approach.”

This story originally appeared on


John B | 7 years ago | Reply Another example of "clash of Civilization". I won't live where you live, I won't eat what you eat, I don't study what you study, I won't , I won't......... Who said shaking hands is against Islamic culture; what is Islamic culture by the way?
Bunny Rabbit | 7 years ago | Reply This is called - not even bothering to integrate with their host country.
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ