In the Grip of Controversy: Indonesian Minister Faces Scandal Over Handshake With First Lady

Indonesian Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring is in the midst of a political crisis over a handshake. Sembiring is a conservative Muslim who often blames natural disasters on a lack of morality and avoids any contact with females outside his family. Then it happened on camera. A smiling Sembiring shaking the hand of first lady Michele Obama. It is enough to send a religious nut into a fetal position. The result has been an insistence that Michele Obama was the hand aggressor — effectively grabbing his hand to his disgust and alarm. The pictures seems to belie the defense — showing a smiling Sembiring who appears to grab the First Lady’s hand.


Sembiring insists “I tried to prevent (being touched) with my hands but Mrs. Michelle held her hands too far toward me (so) we touched.” This is part of a Twitter and Facebook discussion with alarmed conservative Muslims over touching a woman’s hand. It is being portrayed as a virtual assault on an unsuspecting Sembiring who found himself in the grips of an aggressive American woman.

Sembiring has previously blamed AIDS and even natural disasters on pornography. He has also quoted Adolph Hitler on Twitter.

If one wants to avoid such a frightening encounter, one might start by avoiding the handshake line.

Source: Yahoo

Jonathan Turley

16 thoughts on “In the Grip of Controversy: Indonesian Minister Faces Scandal Over Handshake With First Lady”

  1. And that is the country which nurtured our president.
    No wonder he is so warped. He also complimented Indonesia on its Constitution (which protects religious diversity/tolerance).

    Didn’t mention that Indonesia is a totalitarian police state, though. (Of course not. He likes police-states).

    And diverse and tolerant countries usually are. How else can you get people to tolerate each other?

    Now you know why Obama and the Democrats want America to be diverse and why they push tolerance. It’s a sure fire way to destroy liberty and produce absolute power (a precondition for mass murderers). Especially the tolerance thing. Nothing is more intolerant than forcing tolerance on folks. Which is why leftists are always screeching about it.

  2. I think Indonesia should ask for the extradition of that criminal so she can be judged on the land of her crime.

  3. But look at her hand, being so tempting! It was dressed provocatively! It was begging him, “Oh, shake me, you sexy man! Shake me hard!” That harlot hand would tempt anyone!

  4. Theory-espoused refuted by theory-in-use equals hypocrisy?

    Just wondering?

    Or, does wondering per-se violate an inviolable taboo?

  5. The only honorable thing for him to do is to cut off his own hand.

    Better that than losing face, as according to the Koran he has no leg to stand on. If this doesn’t happen he is just gutless, and proves Sharia law has no teeth.

    I don’t think I am sticking my neck out too far to suggest he is lucky they aren’t calling for his head on a platter. Some may call that an eye for an eye, but I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole. (I have delicate sensibilities).

  6. Jill wrote ‘…defines civilian dissidents as the “enemy.”…’

    …as is the case, here at home, as well.

    (Yes. The article is of interest. Thanks, Jill.)

  7. This might be of interest as well. “JAKARTA – Secret documents have leaked from inside Kopassus, Indonesia’s red berets, which say that Indonesia’s US-backed security forces engage in “murder [and] abduction” and show that Kopassus targets churches in West Papua and defines civilian dissidents as the “enemy.”…

    Kopassus is the most notorious unit of Indonesia’s armed forces, TNI, which along with POLRI, the national police, have killed civilians by the hundreds of thousands.”

    All of those listed are civilians, starting with the head of the Baptist Synod of Papua. The others include evangelical ministers, activists, traditional leaders, legislators, students and intellectuals as well as local establishment figures and the head of the Papua Muslim Youth organization.

    The secret Kopassus study says that in their 400,000 – person area of operations the civilians they target as being political are “much more dangerous than” any armed opposition since the armed groups “hardly do anything” but the civilians — with popular support — have “reached the outside world” with their “obsession” with “merdeka” (independence/ freedom) and persist in “propagating the issue of severe human rights violations in Papua,” ie. “murders and abductions that are done by the security forces.” (see Common Dreams for the full story)

    So, funding death squads in Indonesia–yes, the great D(d)emocrat, Obama strikes again.

  8. The video doesn’t show any hesitation on Sembiring’s part on reaching for the First Lady’s hand. They may want to have investigation on how many other female body parts this man has touched while condemning their flesh for being the reason for God’s wrath.

  9. While “appearances are deceiving”, he certainly looks like a willing participant — the video is telling… Perhaps heavy gloves would enable him “to keep his distance”, if he can’t keep himself out of “receiving lines” in the first place.

    Carlyle Moulton says it well.

  10. I really love it when a God bothering moralizing humbug trips over his own piety and falls splat on his face.

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