Germany has long held concerns about the fundamentalist Salafists, who make up only a tiny proportion of the country’s Muslim population.

The man’s refusal to shake hands with the official came from a belief that women posed a ‘threat of sexual temptation’, the court said.

Since the start of 2018, the man has stopped giving handshakes altogether – but the court dismissed this as a ‘tactical’ step to improve his chances of getting citizenship.

The court said that handshakes had deep roots in Western culture, including as a symbol of reaching agreement.

‘Handshakes are common greeting and farewell rituals that take place regardless of the social status, gender or other personal characteristics of the people involved and go back centuries,’ the judges said.

While other greetings such as kisses and high-fives are also available, they do not come with the came sense of formality and legal validity, the court said.

The judges also predicted that handshakes would withstand the coronavirus pandemic, in which physical touching has been kept to a minimum to reduce infections.

The man can now appeal the decision to a federal court.