First lady 'handshake' sparks debate


First lady’s handshake with conservative Muslim raises Indonesian eyebrows

Indonesia's pious information minister, Tifatul Sembiring, is in hot water for touching the hand of First Lady Michelle Obama, in what he describes as forced contact. The politician flaunts his conservatism as a Muslim and claims to avoid touching women who aren't family members, the Associated Press reports.

Indonesia -- which has the world's largest Islamic population, the vast majority moderate -- had been debating how to handle encounters between the first lady and observant Muslim officials far in advance of the Obamas' arrival in the country Monday.



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That seems pretty extreme conservative so he probably should have know better than to be touching some womans hand. I think it is a step in the right direction and now Mrs Obama will be swaying more of the masses. Her shaking hands with conservatives is a good thing.


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Yes - touching body parts of a woman other than wife is considered an undesirable act. However, shaking hand as an act within official duty - tis a personal choice just like selling White Christian women as sex-slave in Israel, is a personal choice but not recommended by Torah.


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I guess everyone has their beliefs and such, but at an event like that, you have to know what is coming. Actually, it's the people around a political figure who should be briefing both sides.


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They can handle it by not being jackasses. Sheesh, this isn't even a debate, it's people being complete and utter idiots because someone shook hands with someone.

If I met the Prime Minister of Japan in his home country, I would bow to him as was expected of the Japanese culture. If he showed up in my home country, I would reach out to shake my hand as is done in my country. Ever hear the phrase "When in Rome, do as the Romans do?", where I'm from, refusing to return an offered handshake is a hanging offense.


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WHAT? She shook his hand! Off with her head uh hand yeah off with her hand. seriously though I think she should have waited to see who was going to offer a hand shake and who wasn't, I'm sure The Obama's were prepared for such an encounter, but it's easy to forget formalities and offer a hand shake where it's not wanted or in this case considered taboo.