Norwegian Mosque apologises to monarch for not getting a handshake
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Norway – A mosque in Norway has issued an apology after three women refused to shake the hand of the Norwegian prince, Prince Haakon.

The Prince visited Al-Noor Islamic Center to show solidarity with the victims of the 10 August Shooting Attack.

During his visit last week, he tried to shake hands with three Muslim women who refused the gesture.

The Information Officer at the Al-Noor mosque, Waheed Ahmed told local media outlets that the mosque was unaware that the women did not want to shake the hand of the Crown Prince.

To that effect, an official apology was issued to the Norwegian Crown Prince.

In a statement written to Norwegian state tv NRK, Mr Ahmed said: “We did not want the Crown Prince to end up in that situation, but we did not know that the three women would not handshake. We, therefore, apologise to the Crown Prince that this happened”

He also disclosed that the management of the mosque had discussed and rehearsed possible scenarios with the staff of the Royal Court the day before the visit.

“Hand greetings were not in our minds and therefore did not become a topic that was raised. Had we known in advance that the women would not handshake, we would have informed the Crown Prince about it, but it was completely unknown to us that they would not” he further stated.

In Islamic culture, women do not shake the hands of men for religious reasons. Instead, they opt to place their hands over their hearts as a form of greeting. However, many Norwegians and those in the Muslim community have described the act as disrespectful.

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The Royal Court commented on the incident Monday evening, and published a statement that read; “The Crown Prince experienced the visit to the Al-Noor mosque after the terror attack as strong, and that the meeting with all the participants was warm and respectful.

“Together with the representatives of the Islamic Council of Norway and the Al-Noor mosque, they talked about how we can together build a society where everyone can feel safe and free”.

The Bærum mosque shooting, or the Al-Noor Islamic Centre shooting, was an incident that occurred on August 10, 2019, at the Al-Noor Islamic Centre mosque in Bærum, Norway, about 20 km west of the capital city of Oslo.

One person was injured, and the gunman’s stepsister was later found dead in their family home. The shooter was taken into police custody after being subdued by mosque-goers.

The shooting has been described as one attack in a recent “resurgence of white supremacy”.

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