Muslim police officer refuses to shake hands British Islamic leaders have defended a Muslim woman police constable who refused to shake hands with her force's chief because of her beliefs. The Metropolitan Police officer declined to have any physical contact with Commissioner Sir Ian Blair at a passing-out ceremony for newly-qualified recruits. Muslim groups said her refusal was in line with common Islamic practice and called for greater understanding of cultural differences. But Scotland Yard said it would not normally tolerate such requests and indicated that the officer, who has not been named, could be fired if she failed to fulfil her duties. A police spokeswoman said: "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 the choice to do so. "Any refusal to engage in this manner would not be tolerated by the Metropolitan Police Service." Scotland Yard said Sir Ian, Britain's top policeman, had questioned the validity of the woman's refusal to shake his hand at the ceremony, held to mark the end of an 18-week recruit training course. The officer will now be required to complete a two-year probationary period. http://news.uk.msn.com/Article.aspx?cp-documentid=2558747 The jury is out as far as I concerned because I can't decide wehter she should have shook his hand and be done with or wehter the Chief Constable is a big child for complaining about it! I think firing her over it may be a bit extreme but you do wonder if she gets worked up over something so petty could she endanger the publics or indeed a fellow Police officer in the future because it may compromise her religous beliefs? Comments from the great unwashed please?