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The Iranian Handshake: A One-Way Street

When preparing for a meeting with the Iranian ambassador, a female Labour MP was told not to shake his hand as this would be inappropriate. The problem with this "handshake snub" by the Iranian delegation isn't one of cultural understanding, it's about a policy of appeasement to an opposing ideology.

Newshub reports:

Labour MP Jo Luxton, deputy chair of the primary production select committee, was meeting an agricultural delegation from the Middle Eastern nation when she was told not to shake hands with the men, because it would be inappropriate.

"I was appalled to witness my friend & colleague @joluxx be advised not to approach & shake hands with an Iranian delegation meeting with us today," fellow first-term MP Kieran McAnulty tweeted.

"I refused to shake their hands in support of Jo. It's unacceptable that such an instruction can be made of any woman in this country."

Another Labour MP, Rino Tirikatene, also refused to shake the Iranians' hands.

This isn't a new thing, Judith Collins has since stated that the only person who always refused to shake her hand was the Iranian ambassador.

However, the men of Labour were in error and the women of the Greens were quick to correct them, with swift rebukes being given by both Genter and Ghahraman (or is it Ghahraperson now?):

We've got to try and understand each other. In our culture it's a sign of disrespect - in theirs, it's different.

Julie Anne Genter, Minister for Women

This is to provide safety and respect for women interacting with men.

It is not open to those of us outside that culture to interpret these rules beyond their intent in Islam.

- Golriz Ghahraman, Green MP

What we see here is the standard response: when it comes to Islam, you can't talk about it. When the Mohammedans get offended, the liberal elite respond with the soft bigotry of low expectations: "It's different" and "don't interpret Islamic culture." The people who do speak out are marginalised, and in some cases simply vanish. I would not expect to hear much more about this issue and perhaps we will never hear the names of the three offending Labour MPs ever again.

Golriz's assertion that we shouldn't try to interpret Islamic culture because we're not Muslim is an asinine one. We see time and time again that women are not equals under Islamic law and that makes them extremely resistant to assimilation. When I became a citizen, there is one thing I remember from the citizenship ceremony very well, a Muslim woman who received citizenship walked right past the mayor without shaking his hand. We should be questioning whether someone who cannot engage in one of the simplest interpersonal transactions in our culture, one that is considered rude and offensive to snub, is really fit to become a citizen.

You see, here is the crux of the matter: they never have to adopt our customs. When we go over there, we act like them; when they come here, they act like them. It's a one-way street.