Swedish police have come out in defence of a Muslim border checks passport inspector, who stirred debate after he refused to shake his female colleagues' hands.

Sweden introduced police border controls in November last year in an effort to keep the number of asylum seekers down. To help officers carry out the checks, 72 trained civilian ID controllers were brought in.

One of these civilian inspectors recently sparked tension for not shaking the hands of his female colleagues, on the grounds that it violated his Muslim faith. Instead, he is said to have placed his hand over his heart in greeting.

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