muslim student at graduation refusing to shake hands with female principal
Video of a Muslim student refusing to shake hands with a female principal has been viewed over one million times.

Video of a Muslim highschooler in Norway refusing to shake his female principal’s hand at graduation is making the rounds on social media and has been viewed over one million times, reigniting the conversation about ongoing strife between traditional Muslim beliefs and western values.

Talk to the Hand

The viral video shows a high school graduation in Norway. An unnamed Muslim student is shown refusing to shake hands with his female principal on religious grounds when receiving his diploma, prompting the principal to give a lecture to the audience. See the footage below:

“Guys, we live in Norway,” the principal begins after the student rebuffs her advances to forcefully shake his hand. “We can’t have it like this. I mean it. And your parents, we live in Norway, you will work with Norwegian women, or else you won’t succeed in Norway.”

Why wouldn’t the student shake her hand? While a handshake greeting is common in western countries between sexes, some Muslims believe that physical contact between the sexes is unnecessary or even forbidden. Some cultures have different ways of greeting, after all; a kiss on the cheek is very common in Southern Europe, but not so much in Nordic countries or in the United States.

Many have decried the student’s refusal (and the entire concept of men refusing to shake hands with women) as sexist, and some wondered how far the famous Scandinavian hospitality should extend. Is it religious intolerance to find such behavior appalling?

“We don't need Muslims who don't shake hands in Norway, just leave,” said one Norwegian Reddit user. “I’ve worked in Arab countries. I’ve had a great time there, but I’ve also tried to adjust/assimilate as much as I could,” explained another.

Others, however, came to the student’s defense.

“Islam is legal in Norway, anyone who wants to stop people from practicing the religion has less tolerance for religious minorities than ISIS has,” said another Reddit user.

When Values Collide

The video is just the latest in discussions on the extent to which Muslims should assimilate to western values, particularly regarding women and homosexuality. The city of Hamtramck, Michigan has been the epicenter of the debate, at least in the United States. Hamtramck is one of the few majority-Muslim cities in the country, and has an all-Muslim city council.

Hamtramck residents first shut down school board meetings in nearby Dearborn, Michigan during debates on the appropriateness of LGBTQ content in schools.

Then, earlier this month, the city council unanimously voted to ban the LGBTQ Pride flag from being flown on government buildings, arguing it offends religious sensibilities.

Around the same time, a similar controversy erupted in Canada after a teacher was recorded criticizing Muslim students for refusing to participate in Pride activities

At this rate, the friction between faith teachings and Western values may not be going away anytime soon. 

What do you think – should traditionally-minded Muslims set aside their faith teachings and adopt western values? Is there a possible compromise here, or will one side have to give way?


  1. Angelic Realms's Avatar Angelic Realms

    Culturally, it shouldn't matter, she is the one with aurthority and atrocious bad manners don't cut it.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Well what I meant was, she's the one with the atrocious bad manners, not the kid. She's the intolerant one, not the kid. As far as we know he is following his religion, and would you have someone violate their deeply held religious precepts just for your particular sense of propriety and superiority? If your answer is yes, you are as bad as she is, and you are also wrong.

      1. Rev Ned's Avatar Rev Ned

        Those Afghan Taliban are just doing what their “religion” dictates and everybody needs to tolerate their intolerance?

        1. Donald G Magel's Avatar Donald G Magel

          Comment removed by user.

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Bingo Michelle!

  1. Bishop William Dusenberry, DD's Avatar Bishop William Dusenberry, DD

    Good people do good things;

    And bad people do bad things;

    To get good people to do bad things —

    All it takes is religion.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Nicely put William!

    2. Reverend Cory's Avatar Reverend Cory

      That's a great quote from Steven Weinberg, world famous physicist

    3. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      No, good people, to actually be good, have the morals, intelligence, and strenth of character to resist and refrain from stupid (and worse) extreme behavior. One judges by behavior, period. The clothing does not matter.

  1. Canadian Yankee's Avatar Canadian Yankee

    I have several friends that ever since the pandemic have refused to shake hands. I know they don't do and it certainly is their choice. I think too much is being made of this.

    1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

      I was thinking the same thing. WE no longer shake hands. I am especially irritated when a medical doctors comes into the exam room and wants to shake hands. eeeww. I just offer my elbow. My mother, who is 90 and vulnerable, puts her hand over her heart and nods. We are both wearing masks because my mom has no immune system and i care for her. Shame on the Shaming of people for different ways! That young man shouldn't be forced to shake hands, which is unsanitary anyway.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Krystina, as I've stated previously, private behavior is quite different than that expected in a public ceremony. We're past the pandemic and our phobias can now subside.

        You're putting so much of your personal perspective into this that you're ignoring how others feel.

        He disrespected his principal, school, and country. Not cool. From what we can assume from the article he refused to shake her hand because she was a woman. As a woman do you believe it is alright for men to treat you as their inferior and disrespect you?

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Trump won't shake hands, never would, ever.

      1. Ann's Avatar Ann

        While Trump is a germ a phobe he not only shakes hands all the time he does it with flare.

        1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

          Flare? There is an uncomfortable aspect to his handshakes but it’s not as painful as a flare would be.

          Oh, you mean ‘flair’. Nope, still not flair. He’s being a narcissistic control freak.

  1. Rev. Dr. Father JJ's Avatar Rev. Dr. Father JJ

    religion sucks.

  1. Colleen McAllister's Avatar Colleen McAllister

    It seems to me that if your faith is so weak that a single handshake threatens it then something is wrong with your faith.

    In this post Covid Era a fist bump might have sufficed. Or the wearing of gloves. Or even a polite nod. There should have been a pre-arranged plan for such things.

    1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

      And flipping that, xtian bakers and photographers have such weak faith that they can’t sell a cake or even take pictures for gay couples? But you’re on the right track. Both are equal cases of extreme dumbassery.

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Colleen? So what is your faith? Can I find fault with your faith the way you can find fault with someone else's?

      1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

        Muslim males refuse to respect us (women) because they are rotten and insane with sexism. Period. Their "religion" is male supremacy. Period. Their insanity includes anything that doesn't have a penis "worthless" and "dirty." Their insanity also views sexuality the same way. Hence, they seek to rape women. (which is NOT sex but is, instead, more male insanity/supremacy--power over). There is nothing else to be said. They are the enemies of women. Period. nothing else to say except the principal did the right thing (Bravo!). They should not be allowed to have any of the "goodies" (for want of a better word) of sexist=free democratic nations. Johnny Rotten--get out of Norway and any other nation that gives full civil rights to girls and women. Similarly, if you refuse to give all the civil rights to people of color--then you don't get to have their art, music, etc .any benefits thereof either. Let them go rot in their own sexist "nations" where they belong. They parasite off of women because they have nothing real or healthy inside of themselves which is the end result of a life- time habit of sexist emotional and intellectual dysfunction and you can hear the loud sucking noise. They are bankrupt emotionally and spiritually. You are mis-aligned with Nature. Their "religion" is nothing more than an excuse to enslave and suck off women. It is pure sexism. Johnny Rotten: You are still young--there may be some hope for you. You need to attend 100 consciousness-raising groups to de-brainwash yourself and get rid of your illness. If not, you will spend a life time of hurting yourself and hurting others. In the words of a great American Indian teacher: "If we don't hang together--we will hang together". We are all part of one big nature's system. You are an out lander. I guess you also spit on the person who brought you here: your Mother. Ancient religion honors all mothers and all women. I know this is standard sexist sport.Your responsibility to everyone else is to: Fix yourself. Period.

        1. Kenneth John Bickley's Avatar Kenneth John Bickley

          Comment removed by user.

        2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

          You know Muslims would see it another way then you suggest, Muslims believe they are respecting women when they do these things. I don't agree with them but that's neither here nor there.

      2. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Mark, you are always defending Muslim's bad manners, atrocious behaviors, and turn a blind eye when they kills gay people or rape eight-year-old girls. You are the problem as much as they (though it's very possible you are Muslim and working to bring Shira here). Your aplogitics are an affront to those of other faiths as well as to those of none.

        1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright


  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Just another case of Christians imposing their values on others and lack of respect of other Christians. Once again we have Cristians attacking Muslims. This is not what Jesus would do.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      You are so far off the mark. Shaking hands is not a Christian value, it's a social value. Islam is a sick religion and must be irradiated from Western societies.

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        @ Russel A. Kester You are one of the evil those evil Christians preaching hate and intolerance instead of love an understanding. And it’s most certainly NOT an American value. Not sure where you hate from Muslims is coming from when they worship the same God Christians do.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Douglas, I am neither Christian nor evil. I am a pragmatist. A religion founded by a child-molesting megalomaniac who killed untold numbers of men amd young boys while taking the little girls as sex slaves and their mothers as slaves are historical facts. That's evil, not me.

          Islam is incompatible with Western values and forms of government and it seems to overthrow both by any means. Saying this uncomfortable truth and that the solution is to irradicate Islam from Western society is not hate. Working to dominate our values and overthrow our governments is.

          My statements are correct: you are way off the mark in your thinking about Islam, it is a sick religion, and it must be irradiated from WESTERN society.

      2. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

        For Mr. Spindler: Your comment about Mr. Kester: When dishonest people have lost the argument--they resort to slander.

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    Hmmm, Muslims won’t shake hands with women. Xtians won’t sell cakes to gays.

    Is this a stupidity contest?

  1. Rev. Rory's Avatar Rev. Rory

    When working in the financial world, I was expected to shake the hand of everyone that came to my desk. I was told ahead of time that some clients, the same as this boy, would not shake my hand. It was fine with me. I expected them to be respectful of my in my official capacity and I didn't care about the hand shaking. That's business.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      What if it was the billionaire client, or the sun of a billionaire client of yours, who didn't want to shake hands? I bet you'd be pretty quick to let him off the hook wouldn't you? And if not it might even cost you your job.

  1. Rev. Kev's Avatar Rev. Kev

    This strikes me a case of making a mountain out of an molehill. So he didn't shake her hand. Big deal. As long as he wasn't actually disrespectful by saying or doing something rude I don't see a problem. Don't we have way bigger issues to address in our world than a handshake?

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Nope!!! The student's act shows deeper underlying issues which are clear evidence that Islam is NOT compatible with Water society or other religions.

      1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

        I don't like to shake hands, and yet I follow the Jesus way. I shouldn't feel forced to shake anyone's hand.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Shaking hands or not in every day situations is very different from following a tradition of shaking hands at a ritual like graduation.

          Not shaking her hand wasn't just an insult to her, it was an insult to the school and the country.

  1. Michael Chandler's Avatar Michael Chandler

    All this carry on over shaking hands. It was disgusting the way he acted. Everyone would have known before hand what was expected. He could have politely explained his position prior to the event which would mean the whole thing could have been dealt with differently. You want to live in a country you should adopt/adapt to meet that countries traditions. I’m not saying give up your own understand that the country may not follow your ideology. Respect works both ways if you don’t like don’t go or stay…

  1. Oceaan DeWitt's Avatar Oceaan DeWitt

    It’s very simple…he did not consent to being touched. Therefore he should not be touched.

    1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

      Yes. This. Nobody should force touching on anyone else. Whether for religious, health, emotional or other (say autism) reasons, everyone has a right to their own bodily autonomy. I do not shake hands.

  1. Adam Kahn's Avatar Adam Kahn

    According to the rules of Muslim societies, a man can touch no woman, only his wife (or mother or any other family member).

    It is man's respect to women, codified in the Islamic religious Law.

    If this student would have shaken her hand, he would have sinned, but only because he would have violated the Islamic Law that demands that men must respect women.

    The student did a good thing, according to his (Islamic) moral principles and the meanings of his actions.

    Unfortunately, many Christians (including here) could not lose their chance to criticize and chastise a poor Muslim man, only because of their (Christian) ignorance, because of their intentional lack of knowledge of other cultures and religions, and even against their own Christian Bible (Mathew 7:1-6). Shameful, but not new.

    Also, hand shakes are not obligatory for women nor frequent between them. Hand shaking is less common in the West, than in post-Soviet countries. Hand shaking was a big deal between Communists though. Is she a Marxist or Progressive by any chance?

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Right, Adam, and I suppose you believe that making women cover themselves from head to toe is also showing them respect. But funnily enough they don't have a problem touching non-Muslim women when them rape them like they've done in Australia and France.

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Also, Adam, it is worth pointing out that for Muslims, culture and religion are one, not true for North Europeans and Christians. The woman was simply ignorant and intolerant or arrogant or all three.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Again you show your prejudice in favor of Islam. You are a traitor to Western societies.

      2. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

        I agree that the woman was ignorant/intolerant/arrogant. I disagree that North Europeans and Christians often find culture and religion are one. Hungary, for example. I am half Hungarian and am disgusted by Orban.

  1. Billy Heckstall's Avatar Billy Heckstall

    Minister B.T. Heckstall After serving an extensive time in the United States Navy. The one thing that was point out to us was the importance of learning the customs of every country we encountered. As the lead educator in any institution. It is my belief, that it was the head educators inherent duty to known the customs, of every student in her graduating ceremony. Among my Native American friends long conversations are not done and for those unfamiliar with this. They may think them being rude or shy, and that is not the case at all. Plus, in many countries women are not seen in the same regards as westerners. It is their way, who are we to debate it. Many of them having been world powers and a few still are. However, I do agree with one of my compeers here who noted that, the right hand is not to be use in many cultures for the reason he gave. Bottom line, love and let live, and as a democracy can we in the country afford to be anything else but open to differences? To take any position opposing anyone’s faith, if that be the case, is hypocrisy! Especially, while claiming to be a free nation, courting freedom of religion. What takes place in other countries should not concern us; except where it threatens worldwide liberty. Cultural beliefs and faith practitioners of various faiths? Isn’t that exactly what this monastery is all about? If so, then our course is clean. As the old country boys in my neck of the woods are famous for say: “We ain’t got no dog in this fight!”.(smile) God bless…

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      You're first issue is that you learned far-left activist values that teach you to despise your own culture's values in favor of everyone else. You just said that you must adjust to their values, even in your own country. BS! They must adapt to our values in our country. Period.

      1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

        Russel, are you the arbitor of "values" in our country? I am a citizen too. I was born and raised here. I don't think I have the same "values" of intolerance as do you.

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Kristina, you have the wrong end of the stick. I am tolerant even of those opinions I abhore. I'm just not blind to their intolerance and threat to society. You however seem to find some salvific value in being tolerant of never allowing yourself to see the intolerance and hatred from those who belong to the Islamic faith.

          As for your snide remark as to whether or not I see myself as the arbiter of values in our country, how juvenile. We ALL, together, determine the values of our country by discussions such as these. It's the market place of ideas. So argue well for yours and you might be able to persuade others that you're right.

  1. Charles Leroy Good II's Avatar Charles Leroy Good II

    The young man basically expressed that his female principal is unequal to him, that she is unclean and that she is not worthy of her status. This should not be allowed regardless of his religious convictions.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Charles, he did nothing of the sort. What he did was follow the requirements of his religion. She was the one who decided to publicly shame him for doing so, and thus did so inappropriately. She was the one who was disrespectful, he merely followed the requirements of his religion. You can be as histrionic as you like, but you're portrayal is simply bigoted.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Again, Mark, you have it wrong and the poster had it right. I've now figured out what the D stands for after your first name, and it's not Stickhead.

      2. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

        YES. He WAS just following the requirements of his religion. A religion that is based on woman- hating.

  1. Rev. MichaelRS's Avatar Rev. MichaelRS

    Where is the harm?

    If the student is otherwise polite to her and reasonably acquiescence to her authority as principal, where's the harm?

    I think somebody who feels that way about contact between the sexes to that degree is probably not going to go out and start raping them. That was a very silly statement.

    Anyway, through it's elected leaders that community/city in Michigan does not want to celebrate "Pride" and that offends the alphabet community. So what? Much of what the alphabet community does in public offends those in variety of faith groups and they're feelings of a offense are belittled and they are told just to get over it, We're here and we're doing it."

    But why is that only supposed to be a one-way street?

    On a positive note, I haven't heard of them throwing anybody off rooftops there.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      They haven't thrown gays off rooftops YET. Go do some homework on how Islam kills gay people.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Dont know who wrote this story but there is a major difference between shaking hands and a flag. For instance Muslums dont shake with their left hand as that is the hand they use to "clean" themselves with after using the restroom. And that is all over the Muslum world. To try and shake hands with your left hand is a grave insult. If you read the story from the local newspapers, you will see the female Principal is left handed. So while she is throwing a fit about him not shaking her hand, he could also throw a fit about her trying to shake hands with him using her left hand knowing full well that this is an insult to him and his religion. I have been through Hamtramck Michigan and actually sat in on a Muslum Worship Service in Toledo Ohio more times then I care to count and have never had a bad reaction when I stopped for gas or went to a nightclub or went to a grocery and the Imam has been completely gracious. All have been nothing but polite. Now there are some bad apples anywhere you go, but so far I have not run into any in the Muslum community. Oh and BTW, the person who wrote this story seems to ignore or forget that while Hamtramck may be majority Muslum, there are also Christians and Buddists and 7th Day Adventists and even some Mormons and Baptists all through that city and some of each of them also came to the meeting about the flag. So why the writer of the story is trying to make the Muslum community out to be the bad ones in this case is disgusting and downright hostile.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Because the city council that made the decision, even though those other groups protested, were ALL Muslim; every single council member. Also, Muslims from near by communities packed the room keeping non-Muslims to an absolute minimum in the chambers. It is an attack on OUR values as a nation.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        wrong yet again. The city has six muslum members and two non muslum members. So for you to try and claim that all of them are muslum clearly shows your ignorance of the matter

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          I reread the article, Daniel, and you are correct that four out of the six are Muslims, and all are foreign born. However, my error of using all instead of majority does make clearly ignorant. It does make my numbers mistaken but I am still correct in pointing out this was done based on the Muslim sentiments of the city council that that the chamber was packed with Muslims from nearby communities to ensure its passage.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            No sorry, it was done on a majority vote which means it makes no difference if they are foreign born or not, they are CITIZENS and they are required to be a citizen before you are allowed to hold a public office.. You jumped the gun and got caught.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

              Daniel, not true. I am being cognizant of the motivations for their votes. And those reasons are VERY important to democracy. By your thinking, they could vote whatever they like and you would have to say it was justified because they voted and questions must stop. That's what is currently being practiced in China.

  1. Dr. Zerpersande, NSC's Avatar Dr. Zerpersande, NSC

    The religiously delusional have silly-a**ed ideas. The difference between religion and other delusional thinking such as horoscopes, homeopathy and crystal power? The latter generally aren’t going to skip work or refuse to shake someone’s hand bc of what they read in their horoscope or bc they can’t find their morning cleansing crystal.

  1. Najah P Tamargo's Avatar Najah P Tamargo

    Minister Najah Tamargo USA

    Look - I haven't shaken another person's hand since 2020, so there is that.....and I am not Muslim. I think that Principal was WAY out of line by humiliating that student in front of everybody and insulting his religious beliefs. It was HER job to know her students and their ways and should have made arrangements accordingly. An elbow bump, a smile and a polite bow, surely would have been been appropriate and acceptable. Sounded to me like she was showing her ego as she thought her "position" was more important than anything else. Again, we see people focusing on things that are meaningless instead of concentrating on the things we should be concerned about. Love, acceptance, respect and compassion.

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    What about drinking, alcohol is forbidden to Muslims. Should they be forced to drink? Forced to shake hands with women? How about Jews who are observant, should they be forced to take off their yarmulkes?

    Traditionally, shaking hands was simply an extension of the tradition to show one's palms as a sign that they held in a weapon that could be used against the other person. Shaking hands today is supposed to be a son of mutual profession of trust. Well what if you don't trust the person she didn't be forced to shake their hands?

    Would it all boils down to is. His hand shaking optional or is it to be compulsory? Seems this principle is all about coercion, given her actual remark. So one presumes then that a male principle is allowed to force himself upon a female Muslim student.

    Bottom line, this principle forced herself, and that makes it sexist, misandronist. (Yes that's a word)

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Rev Mark, your analogy of a male principal forcing himself onto a female Muslim student is a bit unfair because that phrasing is often used to indicate a situation of rape. Very different. However, you raised an interesting point. He is not the first Muslim to go through such a ceremony. Do other Muslim male students shake the female principal's hand? I truly don't know, but suspect they have. Would he have shaken the hand of a man? There were others on the stage did he shake their hands. I wish I knew more about this. But from what we can know at present, he was expected to perform the same actions as everyone else.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    Why is it you always hear of Christians attacking Muslims and Muslim customs? And you NEVER hear of Muslims attacking or complaining about Christians. Just makes all Christians look evil and intolerant of others. This is NOT the teachings of Jesus of Christianity. .

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      You are so wrong! How ignorant. Even the Vatican has posted reports of Catholics being killed by Muslims. What you should have said is how horrible that our Western media doesn't report Muslims killing non-Muslims.

      1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

        @ Russel A. Kester The reason our Western media doesn't report Muslims killing non-Muslims is because it doesn’t happen. Can provide instances where Muslims have killed Catholics so I can fact check to see if you are lying?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Douglas, read articles published on the Vatican and other Catholic websites as well as other Christian ones. You might also want to review websites for Hindus. But don't look to our Western mass media.

          1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

            @ Russel A. Kester. I have done as you have said and cannot find what you say exists. If I can’t fact check you claim, one has to conclude you are lying and just making up stories. Typical behavior for Christians to make up stories. However I am finding more instances where Christian’s are killing people.

    2. Leon John Lyall Fox's Avatar Leon John Lyall Fox

      I'm married a Muslim, so I do have a rough idea about some of this. I've lived in a couple of countries where Islam is the dominant or state religion. In my experience, a lot of behaviour depends on where one is. When I lived in Malaysia, I can't recall many instances of the kind which occurred in Norway. One stands out and that was when a female dentist worked on my tooth. At the end, I went to shake her hand and she declined , telling me (very gently) that it was against her religion to do this. Now, I don't have a problem with this at all. Her country, her religion, her rules. It does seem odd though, from a rational perspective, for her to have her hands in my mouth for an hour, but not to shake hands. On the other hand - and directly to your point - it was quite common for Saudis to come down to Kuala Lumpur, where I was living, to get away from the Saudi heat (yeah, go figure). I clearly recall an incident, in an elevator, with my brother, sister-in-law and small (4 year old) niece and two Saudi parents with their small son (similar age). My niece smiled at the little boy and the little boy spat at her, right in her face. That's intolerance and it is learned from the parents.

  1. ServantOfJudgement's Avatar ServantOfJudgement

    We don't dare force someone to shake hands, for that would defeat the purpose of the ages old practice. We also don't dare shame a person into the practice. Again, this defeats it's meaning. This young man is really just cheating himself from the experience and opportunity working with people of the opposite sex. Women think quite differently than men on certain topics and in my experience bring new thoughts ideas to the table men just don't think of usually. Of course men do likewise when working with mostly women. This is not exclusive to any religion or gender. There are men and women from all walks of life that turn their nose at the opposite sex because they're of the opposite sex. I was once called a pig for opening a door for a female in downtown Chicago. After the shock wore off I washed the insult down with a cold beer and shrugged my shoulders at the whole thing.

    1. Rev.J.Buchanan's Avatar Rev.J.Buchanan

      There is such a huge difference in a custom and religious obedient observence. Orthodox Jewish men also do not shake hands or touch a woman. People from India more than likely will put their hands together and bow, Japanese people will also bow as a greeting. It is always custom versus religious obedience and yes, it is a huge difference, and one we should respect.

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    Observant Orthodox Jews don't touch women that way either. They don't sit with each other and public gatherings, they don't shake hands with women.

  1. Anne 'Arie's Avatar Anne 'Arie

    Why in the world would someone who is a devout Moslem go to, or be sent to, a school where their religious beliefs would be seen as violated? And, on the other hand why would a school who feels that certain people are "Harmful" take their money and let them in that school? This is just bad blood all the way around.

    1. Angelic Realms's Avatar Angelic Realms

      Why don't they stay in their own country? I get the biggest kick out of them not being able to touch a female with respect, but will rape them in gangs with impunity. Even little girls. Of course with them an 8 YO is an "adult" because their true God Mohammed kidnapped one of the children from the the entire family he slayed and "married" her? They don't respect anyone. They are there to overthrow Europe. They don't want to get on with natives they want to kill them. The men have all been psychologically castrated and only respond by being a weak trans woman. I do have to concede that women in Sweden's government have ruined Sweden. Adopting a bunch of sinister fighting age men like they were pet rabbits instead of pet sharks. The denial of reality is really shocking. People used to have a sense of self preservation.

      1. Anne 'Arie's Avatar Anne 'Arie

        having lived in the middle east for enough years to figure out what was happening, I have to tell you that your suggestions that all Moslems are rapists and child molesters are way out of line. Yes, young girls are betrothed to old geezers for reasons that most folks don't understand but they are neither raped nor molested and they don't suffer sexual relations of any sort until they are of age, usually 18. As for this dude not wanting to shake hands with the principal, she should never have let him in her school to start with and it was just greed. And any people don't want to abide by the customs and rules of the country that they choose to live in for whatever reason, they should stay home.

        1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

          "Yes, young girls are betrothed to old geezers for reasons that most folks don't understand". That's funny. Does it work the other way around? Young boys are betrothed to old (female) geezers for reasons that most folks don't understand? It is perfectly clear what the "reasons" are. And it ain't nice. The world over is a sexist caste system with men on top and women in the under caste. Males are the owners and girls and women are the chattel. Who gets to own who. Don't tell me young girls would rather be "betrothed" to some old geezer rather than have their own life to do with as they need and please?! (like go to college, go surfing, rent an apartment, write replies to ULC page, explore their own sexuality, etc.). Some say they "prefer it"--They have been brainwashed and coerced to do so. And, some of them are murdered for running away. It is well documented.

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    What's wrong with a nod or a slight bow of respect? I was never a touchy feely kind of person anyway so if someone doesn't want to shake hands I don't feel the least bit slighted.

  1. Rev. Constance E Horne's Avatar Rev. Constance E Horne

    I think everyone needs to respct each other. if you are in a position of authority it is very important to respect others beliefs.One shouldn't push their beliefs onto someone else. Would you hug someone that didn't want to be hugged? It is the same thing.I just don't know what has happened to basic manners and respect for each other has gone.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      If you truly believe that everyone should respect each other than you should believe that the student should respect his female principal and that he should respect the societal graduation ritual; therefore he should have shaken her hand out of respect for her and the country he lives in.

  1. Rev.J.Buchanan's Avatar Rev.J.Buchanan

    Orthodox Jewish men will also not shake a womans hand. It should be common knowledge by now that this non-handshaking is "not" a custom but a "religious belief", which is a huge difference and actually should be respected. The softest word I can use for her behaviour is "rude". In some parts of the world you would never shake a persons hand with your right hand...which is the hand one wipes a bodies bottom as ithis would be very offensive. In some parts, when eating with fingers, it would also be rude to use ones right hand. If we want to live together and the idea is to live in love and harmoney then we have to figure out what little things are acceptable and what big things are not, like handshaking verses stoning women.

  1. Gene Schenck's Avatar Gene Schenck

    Respect all beliefs .Mine is hug someone or shake hands or a kiss on the hand shows love and compassion.

  1. Michael S Cope's Avatar Michael S Cope

    Respect for others is paramount. As an Ordained Minister, my choices are between GOD and me. FORCING a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Native American or a native anyone, to participate in something they do not wish to... is actually what happened to Native American kids as well as others all over the world. Stop promoting forced compliance. Wait... didn't Adolf Hitler do the same thing. Chi Chi Ping in China, Fidel Castro, Jim Jones, and the list goes on. SO... just relax. Stop forcing people to comply. Otherwise you are just as bad.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      Because the city council that made the decision, even though those other groups protested, were ALL Muslim; every single council member. Also, Muslims from near by communities packed the room keeping non-Muslims to an absolute minimum in the chambers. It is an attack on OUR values as a nation.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Not even close. In the city unless you are there invited by the council you are not allowed to speak on matters dealing with the city. Thats standard practice all over the US

  1. Takaya Kovani Sweeney's Avatar Takaya Kovani Sweeney

    I’m at odds with this.

    I don’t like the way she grabbed the boy.

    If I was his parents I’d have been on the stage QUICKLY telling her to TRY to grab me like that if she dared.

    While I understand that’s their religion, they’re also in another’s country.

    When we visit THEIR muslim country lands we must cover up and act accordingly, correct?

    The same should apply for them when in non-muslim lands. Whatever the customs are.

    They can’t be the only people worldwide allowed to impose THEIR beliefs onto everyone else and we just all must accept it no matter where they are.

    Muslim faiths view women as second class citizens, should they become the manager in non-muslim countries and be allowed to either fire all women or impose their religious laws on women born in other countries?

    Absolutely not.

    There must be give, take, understanding and flexibility or we will continue seeing harms committed against one another, regardless of beliefs.

  1. William Leon Barfield jr's Avatar William Leon Barfield jr

    I do not like to shake hands, so I can see both sides. They should have discussed it before to have decided on an agreeable greeting.

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    His right to treat women as less than a dog. It is her right to see him as a spoil brat. Not worthy to be even in the country. But that is Norway. It had to put up with the NAZI it now has to put up with their off spring. Tiime to eat a ham sandwich and a glass of beer.

  1. Rev. Dr. James Jacob Showers Jr's Avatar Rev. Dr. James Jacob Showers Jr

    I do apologize, isn't it a sign of respect. What I mean by that, in some of the middle eastern countries, they actually wipe their hind parts with the right hand, so that they're not passing bacterium, they bow with hands crossed. Or, present with a kiss on the cheek. Or, bow with the hands presented at the center eye..Excellent commentary....

    1. Charles Leroy Good II's Avatar Charles Leroy Good II

      But shaking hands with a male principle is okay? You missed the point of the disrespect toward women.

    2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      "Bow before the mighty Me...Grovel, peasant (Male)(Muslim)(Brown person)."

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Once more your comments show your hatred for white males. What a tragic way to live. But at least everyone can now see your hidden agenda in your many, many posts.

        1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

          ??? I'm a white Ukrainian (well, one of my grandparents anyway) European American Jew born in Minneapolis. Whatever you have in your bong, maybe your socks, whatever it is anyway, it must be spectacular, can we all have a hit off it too?

        2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

          Sorry russell, I meant you, not "Kenneth." I simply got your name wrong, I was laughing so hard at your irrational taunts. Must have been that blind rage that you're provocations sent me into, for me to get your name wrong like that. I apologize for dismissing you, I know that's something you can't stand. Like that principal with the narcissistic supply issues.

    3. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Sorry Rev showers, you're common Sense has no home here. You make too much sense. Witness Russell above and below, poor guy, can't you see he's plainly suffering from his own absurdity? He thinks in absolutes and then projects it outward, at least if you read his words as if he meant them.

      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Rev Mark, no need to apologize. Though it was most kind of you. I'll try to respond to both of your ad hominem attacks at me in this one response. And please don't go into anymore blind rages, it's not healthy.

        Being a white male, congratulations, doesn't mean you haven't absorbed the anti-straight-white-male nonsense we've been hearing for decades now. I think you well might have. It okay to be white, male, and straight. It's also okay to be lesbian, black, and female (kinda goes with the lesbian part). But assuming I'm right and you've internalized this self loathing, I want to challenge those internalizations. It's okay to be you and to love who you are.

        The same thinking goes with your defenses of Islam. You chose to not see any of its wrongful actions or its threat to Western societies as I understand your posts.

        You're not a bad person, you've just drunk too much of the third-wave feminist and pro-Islam kool-aids.

        1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

          Actually no I'm quite aware of all the harms done in the name of Islam, including everything mentioned here in this article and all these responses. It's simply that the problem behavior is from the radicals, it's the people who choose to behave that way in the first place, since there are plenty of peaceful examples of Muslims. You on the other hand confuse the people with the religion, the people with the impenetrable illogical writings, and you cast the people as all bad along with the religion being all bad. In other words you're an All or nothing thinker. Well that lets you out of actual thinking. And you do the same with your name calling of people here, exaggerating what they say and distorting and changing it into an extreme so that then you can attack it, because otherwise you have no justification. That's a logical and argumentative distortion, it's a sign of a weak point and an inability to see the imperfections in your view, which makes you every bit as radical and unreasonable as those you seek to paint that way. Yes, you are no better than those you castigate, and especially those extremist Muslims because you are of the same cloth. What you need to do is learn to judge people based on their actual behavior, don't confuse them with other people who behave differently. Until then you're no different than the extremists you like to blast while catching up everybody else in that same brush stroke. Not that I think you will ever learn anything, at least not today.

          1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

            Dear Rev Mark, again, you have it wrong. I attack the religion of Islam. It's the overachieving structure that creates these and other issues. However, if an individual is following and supporting Islam, then, yes, he or she is fair game to have those beliefs held challenged. We do often speak of Muslims as a shorthand for the Islamic religion in general. It's just how it is. You seem quite intent on painting me as an extremist instead of arguing the topic. You state your personal opinion that I'm an all or nothing thinker. Not sure where you're coming from, but it is clear you are all in for Islam.

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    Why don't we ask live streaming AI Jesus?

  1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

    Kiss the Ring! Otherwise you'll never make it in this society.

    Sounds like a challenge. I love a good challenge.

  1. Matthew Mastrogiovanni's Avatar Matthew Mastrogiovanni

    Bad manners are bad manners.

    1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

      Who is the one with bad manners here, matthew? I can't tell from your comment.

  1. Paul Johnson's Avatar Paul Johnson

    Can you see the attitude of the world. If its not bothering me it's okay but don't get me envolved. What's the difference in not wanting to shake hands and not wanting to make a cake ? Everybody seems to have their hangup and then let's push the envelope.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      The problem for Western Europe and America is that Muslims demand that you respect their beliefs and customs in the land of your ancestors while they disrespect yours. They believe they have God's truth and you are an evil follower of the devil. We will get reciprocal respect when we don't allow them to disrespect us or we finally irradiated Islam from our countries as incompatible. Bleeding heart liberal self-loathing won't work unless you want your great grandchild bowing to their Muslim masters.

      1. Paul Johnson's Avatar Paul Johnson

        I will have to agree with you on most of the things that you have posted about the muslim way. There is no difference than with other movements they are happy with a little as long as they get something. They are a believer of taking time no matter how long, just look at the pride movement, little by little it is now in a position to demand that you make a cake and you had better not question.

  1. JaZe's Avatar JaZe

    On the grounds of religion some Christians refuse to work on sundays or sell contraceptives. What is the difference? Hindus and Budhists dont always shake hands either, they put their hands together and bow. The student could have used a different form of greeting and the principal should be knowledgeable of such differences. International schools need to be knowledgeable and accept that different cultures take time to adapt.

    1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

      The difference KaZe, is that when in Rome one does as the Romans otherwise leave. Norwegians are NOT obligated to bend to his culture he is obligated to adapt to theirs.

      1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

        "Don't Touch Me." (Ironically, also what Christ said on the cross. Think about it. Was he just rude?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Christ saying not to touch him while on the cross is highly doubtful. The gospels were written and reworked long after the incidents they report. While they might convey a sense of who the person was of which they write, don't hang on every word as if recorded by a court reporter. No irony here, just a poor understanding of the Christian scriptures.

      2. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

        So Russell I suppose you would also say that women Nazi germany, kill Jews because Nazis do that... Is that it? If you're in China then enslave and culturally decapitate uighur Muslims as a class, right? If you're Buddhist in India then it's okay for you, perhaps even necessary, to murder Muslims on Mass because that's what they did in india, as many Hindus did also. I'm sure that would all meet with your approval too wouldn't it? Because that's what might means right does. Go with the majority, go with the power group. Someday if somebody comes for you my friend, what will you expect other people to do about it?

        1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

          Mark, I'm unsure which thread to which your comments refer, but will try to respond. Assuming you're responding to my comments to irradicate Islam from Western society, I do not agree with the actions of the Nazi's because the groups targeted did not represent a real threat to German society. Islam in it's historic and current form does present to Western societies.

          1. Rev Mark D's Avatar Rev Mark D

            Glad to know, russell, that you are okay with killing 6 million Jews, having, according to you, no problem with the Nazis. Very happy to see that you have made it plain in print.

            1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

              Mark, you have put words in my mouth so to speak. That's very dishonest. I'm not okay with Germany having killed so many Jewish, Polish, handicapped,and gay people (we should remember the other as well). Acknowledging that Islam is incompatible with Western societies and advocating its irradiation from them is not the same. Show me one post anywhere in which I said to kill Muslim people. I haven't! I have posted to irradicate Islam, the religion. That is NOT the same. Please, true to use persuasive arguments or moving statements instead of your own instead of characterizing me with strawman positions you can then shoot down as if you've defeated my actual positions or statements.

            2. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

              When dishonest people lose the argument--they resort to slander. You have lost the argument to Mr. Kester. To say he has no problem with "the murder of 6 million Jews"--you have lost it. On planet earth, all over, there is a caste system. Women are lower caste and men upper caste. In every "religion". Every "religion" is created by men, for men and about men. Except ancient Pagan spirituality. This indigenous and ancient spirituality, the world over, acknowledges and respects the Diety as both female and male. Even there, we observe sexist disruption when men assert their caste PRIVILEGE. This is easily proven. Really easy. This hand- shaking event is NOT just about " "manners", "courtesy", etc. It is BIGGER than that. In order to bring this world into balance, this socio-political-spiritual unsane system must be challenged and dissolved--wherever it is found. As, and where, that happens, all benefit. All humans, of every ethnic group, every gender, every sexual nature, all animals and all plants, the Earth herself,--all must have sovereignty. No exceptions. Rev. Bond Wright

    2. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

      That's right-- some "religious" people refuse to sell contraceptives. let's look deeper..... They won't sell them. They won't use them. The males just ejactulate all over the place (let's hope they don't too much- -let's hope they are REALLY scared of sex, too) (hope. hope. hope).. And, significantly ADD to our booming over- population. Produce babies that have NO HOPE of being cool, going to school or falling in love. Hopelessly neurotic and just add all this neurosis to our world. In fact, adding more fascism..... Better look out! Right now they are trying to ban contraceptives for ALL OF US. They are trying to get those contraceptives off the shelves of your neighborhood drug store. This is their "religious belief". Thank you to ULC for this OPEN FORUM.

  1. Dr. Darryl G Dykes's Avatar Dr. Darryl G Dykes

    Religious beliefs are the right of the believer, no one has the right to impose their beliefs on anyone. His religion forbids him to touch a female so be it.

    1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

      By the "religious belief" is to put all young males in a Copulatarium for obvious pleasure and reproduction purposes. Kill off all males over 25. Keep some males 25 to 35 around, the slave class, to do the dirty work it takes to run a world. You know, working the fields, working at sewage plants, murdering animals for food, used as guinea pigs for research, sperm donation, clean up any nuclear waste sites, and de-detonate bombs left all over the world, that were left over by the Patriarchy,etc.

      All women over 65 are the honored and sacred leaders.

      When all males become 35--off them.

      These are my "religious beliefs." And, this is my right.



      1. Russel A. Kester's Avatar Russel A. Kester

        Bond, you had me pretty scared there right up until the end. Whew! 😊. It seems you might have some interesting views on paganism. When an article on it comes up, I'm looking forward to exchanging of ideas with you.

        1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

          OK. I look forward to this also. best.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Why does this matter? What is the purpose of this story? Is this story even true? Who reported it? Looks like the kind of thing found in a tabloid rag. Who the heck cares who shakes whose hand? Are you seriously telling me that a bunch of freakin' adults are having some kind of come to Jesus meeting over a handshake? Ridiculous. 😡

  1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

    Is what is claimed in the Christian religion real? Or simply the brain child of Mr. Gnaeuo C. Piso, the Italian aristocrat? It's easy to research this.

  1. Bond Wright's Avatar Bond Wright

    Mr. Kester: I hope you don't think my little "fantasy" is Pagan?! Far from it! The one and only rule the pagan spirituality has is this:" "Do what you will--and harm none." Do WHATEVER you want to do--as long as you don't harm anyone. So obviously the IC (intentional community) I designed would certainly harm some. Therefore, it is NOT Pagan. It is actually reverse sexist Patriarchy. Bad, bad, and bad. So, yes, when it comes up, it will be interesting to exchange views with you, too.

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