Indonesian Minister to Michelle Obama: Keep Your Hands to Yourself

More

Once again, Twitter has proved only takes 140 characters to cause a controversy. After allegedly shaking hands with First Lady Michelle Obama, Indonesian Communications Minister and conservative Muslim Tifatul Sembiring tweeted that he reluctantly shook her hand at a Tuesday reception. His discomfort stemmed from his interpretation and observance of Islam: Sembiring doesn't touch female non-relatives.

"I tried to prevent (touching First Lady Obama) with my two hands but Mrs. Michelle moved her hands too close to me, then we touched," he Tweeted on Tuesday. Video footage of the meeting shows Sembiring reaching out to shake her hand.

Now, his commentary has enraged the Indonesian blogosphere: Some say he's lying, and others accuse him of humiliating the moderate and tolerant Muslim country.

Most Twitter users were scathing in their condemnation of the minister.

"Of course, the communications minister is stupid, naive and inconsistent," wrote one.

"It wasn't about shaking hands. It's the lying!!!!" wrote another.

One user wrote: "He's just embarrassing".

Read the full story at the AFP.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Elizabeth Weingarten is an editorial assistant at the New America Foundation. A former Slate editorial assistant, she also previously wrote for and produced the Atlantic's International Channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In