His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon visited the Al-Noor Islamic Centre last week to show support after the 10 August shooting attack on the mosque. Many people noticed that three women did not accept the Crown Prince’s outstretched hand as he attempted to greet them.
The Bærum mosque shooting, or the Al-Noor Islamic Centre shooting, was an attack that occurred on 10 August 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”.
Waheed Ahmed, information officer at the Al-Noor mosque, told NRK that they were unaware that the women did not want to shake the hand of the Crown Prince. He has now issued an official apology to the Norwegian Crown Prince. He wrote to Norwegian state tv NRK: “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.”
The Royal family are being very gracious about this. Norway has a 'modern' informal monarchy, so they don't stand on ceremony for etiquette, hence the offer of a handshake. In similar circumstances a more formal royal family would expect the bowing of the head and bending of the knee in a curtsey; a mark of respect that would not involve the prince touching a commoner, like any normal person.
The Royal Court commented on the case Monday evening, and they published through NRK the following statement:
“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”.