A Muslim police officer is facing disciplinary action in Germany after refusing to shake a female colleague's hand.

The officer refused his co-worker's offer of a handshake when she attempted to congratulate him on a promotion he had received, the Rheinische Post reports.

Religious reasons were given by the officer from Rhineland-Pfalz, as his explanation for refusing to accept his female workmate's friendly gesture during a party at the Montabaur police station at the end of May.

"The police officer explained his behaviour by way of his religious conviction," said Steffen Wehner, the press spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, on Friday, July 21.

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