President Obama and Mrs. Obama have been traveling the world for the past few days. Recently they went to Indonesia, a country that is predominantly Muslim. There are strict guidelines for Muslims on how to behave towards the opposite sex. Many follow these guidelines while others are lax about them.
The Associated Press reports that: "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."
He says that he was avoiding contact with Mrs. Obama but it was unavoidable.
In the Quran it states explicitly below how to behave with one another:
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things)…” (Quran 24:30)
If it is forbidden to look at one another, how can it be OK to touch the opposite gender?