Dec 14 2011
Academics at Cambridge University have reacted with dismay after being ordered not to shake hands with Muslims or disabled people in case it upsets them.
UK DAILY MAIL A directive sent to admissions tutors warns that some applicants are ‘culturally sensitive’ to traditional greetings and suggests that ‘suitable body language’ is just as welcoming.
A spokesman for the university said: ‘Professors should read the situation properly and bear in mind that not all people will want to shake hands.’ He said the warning related in particular to Muslim women and some people with disabilities.
Some tutors say they have been made to feel like ‘social misfits’ as a result. One, who did not want to be named, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘It seems to be totally bonkers. We know when to shake someone’s hand and when no to.’
Sally Hunt, the University College Union general secretary, said: ‘While I am sure this advice is well-intentioned, academics are grown-ups and are intelligent enough to know when to shake a person’s hand or not.’
Cambridge University moved to integrate female Muslim students further in 2009 when it decided to allow them to wear burkas at graduation ceremonies. (Integrate? Are you serious?)