The Muslim students of a college in Sydney got a free-pass of shaking hand with the females, even during official ceremonies, if they don’t want to.
The Educational Department approved the protocol on the grounds of multiculturalism and decided the protocol gesture will be touching the heart area. This practice Is coming from the Muslim religious teachings, in which they say that it’s better to be stabbed in the head, than touching a woman’s hand that is not allowed. The officials say that all the schools should respect the cultural traditions and background of their students, so being able to support all the tolerance and a good attitude towards their cultural needs, should be encouraged all the time.
This interpretation of the Islamic law is controversial even through the Muslim leaders in Australia. They say that not even in the Islamic schools they don’t apply this rule and the Islamic Council in Victoria is opposing this new regulation at the Georges River College, saying that this could raise awkward situations. The young Aussies are not used with Muslim traditions and gestures and that would create a situation when they could be left with their hand hanging in the air.
The decision of the school board surprised everyone, including the Islamic leaders, as there is, indeed a requirement for the Muslim boys and man in the hadith, but it is usually not applied in international communities, and lots of Islamic schools don’t have this policy of handshaking between the sexes.
The Hurstville Boys Campus is a branch of the College, with a huge cultural diversity, almost 90% of the students not being native English speakers.