Swedish Muslims Slam Saudi King for Handshake With Melania Trump

© REUTERS / Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal CourtSaudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud shakes hands with first lady Melania Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud shakes hands with first lady Melania Trump during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2017. - Sputnik International
Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz drew a lot of attention as he shook hands with US President Donald Trump's wife Melania during the couple's controversial visit to the Middle East. Afterwards, he was given a lecture on Islamic ethics by Swedish Muslims.

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Sweden's growing Muslim diaspora seemed to be mortified by the fact that the Saudi King shook hands with a woman during US President Donald Trump's state visit the past weekend. In most versions of Islam, shaking hands with (or even touching) a member of the opposite sex is prohibited when not related.

The fiercest criticism was expressed by the freshly-launched Instagram account Islamiskt ("Islamic"). The account was started at the end of April, followed by a Facebook page by the same name, Swedish news portal Fria Tider reported.

"In God's name, you shake hands like this? I hope not," Islamiskt wrote and went on to enlighten fellow Muslims about the peculiarities of Islam. "Shaking hands with the opposite sex is strictly haram [forbidden] and is something the holy prophet not only never did, but also forbade the believers to do," Islamic wrote.

I Guds Namn Skakar du hand så här⁉️ Hoppas inte. Så här ser vi #muslimer på #handskakning ⏬ 👋Det är väldigt rekommenderat för en #troende att hälsa och skaka hand med en annan troende. Det finns flertal #autentiska #hadither som talar om de många belöningarna som skrivs när detta sker. 👋Ovan gäller dock mellan samma kön. När det kommer till att skaka hand med det motsatta könet är det strikt #haram och något som den heliga #profeten(s) aldrig gjorde utan tvärtom förbjöd de troende att göra. 👋Våra #ulemah har konsensus #ijmah i denna fråga och baserat på detta har alla de gett #fatwa på att det är #haram 👋Endast #Allah har full kännedom om visdomen bakom de #islamiska lagarna. Men det vi kan se, utöver de #moraliska aspekterna, är att detta klart visar ett ställningstagande vid första mötet. 👋På samma sätt som #hijaben har sociala,moraliska och #själsliga effekter så visar det ett ställningstagande man har gjort. 👋Dvs man visar för alla — "jag #underkastar mig Allah och det är jag stolt över". Till er #unga, idag är det svårt att undgå handskakning med det motsatta könet. Men kom ihåg att genom att inte skaka hand visar du för andra och även för dig själv — vem du är. Det är en del av din identitet, så glöm inte den. Må #Gud hjälpa oss att bevara vår #muslimska #identitet — Amin #skakahand #handskakning #salaam #ungamuslimer #muslimer #islamsverige #islamiskt

Публикация от islamiskt (@islamiskt) Май 21 2017 в 12:24 PDT

The text continued with an explanation why it was of paramount importance for Muslims not to shake hands with any member of the opposite sex.

"Keep it in mind that by not shaking hands you show it to the others and even to yourself who you are. This is part of your identity, do not forget it," the text said.

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The controversial Instagram post received more than a hundred "likes."

At present, it remains unclear who runs the account, but suspicions were voiced that it could be possibly linked to an activist group that previously protested the fact that a hijab-wearing Muslim woman was denied employment by the Nordic airline SAS. Earlier this year, Aye Alhassani's failed, yet much-debated attempt to get a job with SAS wearing an Islamic veil was claimed to be a publicity stunt with Islamic undertones by blogger Rebecca Weidmo Uvell, which was vehemently denied by Aye Alhassani.

In Sweden, Muslim ethics often clash with its perennial drive for multiculturalism, yielding unexpected results. In 2016, a Muslim woman stepped down from her job as a teacher after being told that shaking hands with her male colleagues was expected. The same year, similar cases involved a Muslim member of Helsingborg City Council and a Muslim border inspector. The most high-profile case, however, involved former senior Green Party member Yasri Khan, who resigned in acrimony after refusing to shake a female reporter's hand during an interview.

Incidentally, the First Lady also stirred debate by refraining from wearing a veil, which is an expected thing for women to do in Saudi Arabia. Remarkably, Donald Trump himself previously slammed former First Lady Michelle Obama for not wearing a veil during her visit to Saudi Arabia in 2015 together with Barack Obama.

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