In what can only be described as yet another international embarrassment, out-going President George W. Bush got a pair of shoes thrown at him by a Baghdad TV reporter. The incident occurred while Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki were giving a joint press conference in Baghdad. The reporter, Muntazer al-Zaidi, was arrested and is being charged with commiting a “barbaric and ignominious act” He faces up to seven years in prison for his actions.
Having lived in the Middle East myself, I am aware that showing the soles of one shoes or the bottom of one’s feet to an Arab is considered rude and disrespectful. I commonly committed this faux pas as I casually propped up my feet on my coffee table while entertaining Arab friends. But to throw your shoes at someone is the ultimate insult!
Al Jazeera reports the shoe thrower’s brother as saying, “Millions of Iraqis or rather millions of the people of the world wish to do what Muntadhar did”. He added, “Thank God he had the guts to do it and avenge the Iraqi people and the country from those who plunder it and have killed its people.”
Here is the incident: