A Muslim girl refused to shake the hand of the German president despite him visiting her school to praise students for integrating migrants so well.
Footage has emerged of the visit of Joachim Gauck to the Theodor Heuss School in Offenbach at the end of last month.
It shows him arriving at the school in his official car with students waiting for him at the entrance and holding up welcome signs in a variety of languages including German and Arabic.
He had chosen to visit the school after it was singled out as being an example of how they successfully help migrant children learn the German language and culture.
Mr Gauck was then introduced to a line up of students and as he went down the line, he proceeded to shake hands with every one of them.
But when the president, who largely has a ceremonial role in Germany, reached the girl in a hijab in the line-up she quickly moved her hand away.
She then placed it over her chest and bowed her head as Mr Gauck held out his hand for her.
But realising she was not going to greet him like the other students, the pair just exchanged smiles and he quickly moved on to the next student.
It is unclear why she moved away from the hand shake, however some Muslims refuse all physical contact with members of the opposite sex they are not married or related to.
However, it is not the first time Muslims have refused to shake hands with members of the opposite sex in Germany.
In July, a Muslim pupil refused to shake the hand of his female teacher on ‘religious grounds.’
As the teacher at the Kurt-Tucholsky School in Hamburg went to shake the hand of the student he offered his wrist instead.
Apparently, seconds later, he told her; ‘No offence, my religion won’t let me do that. I do not mean to disrespect you.’
But fellow teachers were outraged and demanded he be sent home from the event, a move the headteacher refused.
Meanwhile in Switzerland, a 15-year-old Muslim schoolboy was forced to shake hands with his female teachers after he refused to do so.
Amer Salhani lost his appeal in September after his school rejected his argument that the Swiss tradition of handshake greetings went against Islam.
The teenager and his older brother sparked a fiery debate earlier this year when they said they could not shake their teacher’s hand because their religion forbids physical contact with a member of the opposite sex – unless they are family. -DM
THE PASHTUN TIMES