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December 17th, 2008
08:22 AM ET

Throwing shoes won’t help Iraq

Editor's Note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer and contributing editor for Islamica Magazine in Washington. He is the founder of TheMuslimGuy.com, a Web site focused on Islamic issues, and is former national legal director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/16/iftikhar.shoe/art.arsalan.iftikhar.jpg caption="Arsalan Iftikhar says the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush wasn't doing his job."]

Arsalan Iftikhar
Special to CNN

Not since Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's famous footwear pounded into a table at an October 1960 United Nations session have we seen a shoe create such a global political firestorm.

Alas, we now have an Iraqi journalist entering into the annals of political history with his contribution to the ongoing historical saga entitled "Shoes Heard Around the World."

Some regional TV channels in the Mideast have aired the footage from the "shoe" press conference "more than a dozen times in several hours," according to The Associated Press. The infamous scene has now bounced around Internet networking sites like YouTube and Facebook, showing Iraqi journalist Muntadhar Al-Zaidi standing, hurling both his shoes at President George W. Bush and shouting in Arabic: "This is a farewell kiss, you dog....This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq."

Mr. Al-Zaidi, 29, a journalist for private Iraqi television channel Al-Baghdadia, was swiftly overpowered by Iraqi security forces after he threw the shoes at Bush in a gesture described by Agence France Presse as "the supreme mark of disrespect in the Muslim world."

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Filed under: Arsalan Iftikhar • Iraq • Islam
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. arif

    Whether you believe it or not. Throwing shoes have serve the purpose. Bush will remember this humiliation all through his life. He has done enough damage to humiliate the Muslim world. He turned a small group of terrorists into a ideology and labelled them "Muslim Terrorists" as if the entire Muslim world follow this twisted ideology. There were times when Muslim were treated humanely all throughout the world but look at now they are treated like animals on airports... on streets and so on and so forth. After all this, do you think we should give him respect of any kind? My only hope left is Obama.

    January 22, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  2. Michael LaGrone

    I'm not really sure what the big deal is about this guy throwing his shoes at the President. My concern is that fact that the guy was able to throw BOTH SHOES before the Secret Service even responded. That is what scares me most. Say what you want, but the man is the President.

    December 17, 2008 at 11:53 pm |
  3. Max

    I can think of a FEW people who should have a FEW stilettos wailed at their HEADS.

    December 17, 2008 at 12:07 pm |
  4. Maria

    I totally agree with you, but let me point for something, according to the French press the incidence unify Sunni and Sheii!!!, he is a communist, probably Sunni but influenced by Sader group!!!, his action was planned, I don’t know how this will affect the next Iraqi election???

    December 17, 2008 at 11:31 am |
  5. word with u

    All that i can say to Arsalan iftikhar is that its no time to tell the journalist what his job is because likwise the preisdent's job is not to kill humanity and destroy counrties for his own selfish reasons but to bring peace around the world and in their own country.Imagine the frustration of a man infront of whom thousands have been killed.Its easy for u to say that, but seeing a wrecked bloody place and not having the idea of when it's going to end is terribly horrible.Before giving lectures i would suggest that you should trying putting your self in someone's shoes who has lost his family or even one loved one for no reason or fault of him. Let alone the whole country.

    December 17, 2008 at 11:30 am |

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