Excerpts of CNN.com report on "shoe throwing" incident:
An Iraqi TV reporter who threw his shoes at President Bush during a news conference remained in custody Monday, while judicial officials decided whether to charge him with assault.
Muntadhar al-Zaidi, a reporter for the TV channel Al-Baghdadia, faced testing for alcohol and drugs to determine his state of mind, said a government official, who requested anonymity.
At Sunday's news conference, the journalist whipped off his shoes and hurled them at Bush during the president's unannounced stop in Baghdad. The reporter called his shoe-throwing, a traditional insult in Arab culture, a "farewell kiss" to a "dog" who launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Excerpts of New York Times article on "shoe thrower":
Barely 24 hours after the journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, was tackled and arrested for his actions at a Baghdad news conference, the shoe-throwing incident was generating front-page headlines and continuing television news coverage. A thinly veiled glee could be discerned in much of the reporting, especially in the places where anti-American sentiment runs deepest.
In Sadr City, the sprawling Baghdad suburb that has seen some of the most intense fighting between insurgents and American soldiers since the 2003 invasion, thousands of people marched in his defense. In Syria, he was hailed as a hero. In Libya, he was given an award for courage.
Mr. Zaidi, a correspondent for an independent Iraqi television station, Al-Baghdadia, remained in Iraqi custody on Monday. While he has not been formally charged, Iraqi officials said he faced up to seven years in prison if convicted of committing an act of aggression against a visiting head of state.
Hitting someone with a shoe is a deep insult in the Arab world, signifying that the person being struck is as low as the dirt underneath the sole of a shoe. Compounding the insult were Mr. Zaidi’s words as he hurled his footwear at President Bush: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” While calling someone a dog is never polite, among Arabs, who traditionally consider dogs unclean, the words were an even stronger slight.
The incident has been a source of embarrassment for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who, in a statement on Monday, called the shoe throwing a “a shameful savage act” and demanded a public apology from Al-Baghdadia.
“The act damaged the reputation of Iraqi journalists and journalism in general,” the statement said.
As of Monday night, no apology from the station was forthcoming. Instead, the network posted an image of Mr. Zaidi, 29, in the corner of the screen for much of the day. Viewers were invited to phone in their opinions, and the vast majority said they approved of his actions.
Opponents of the continued American presence in Iraq turned Mr. Zaidi’s detention Monday into a rallying cry. Support for the detained journalist crossed religious, ethnic and class lines in Iraq — vaulting him to near folk hero status.
plez sez: okay, okay! we all had a nice chuckle at our inept and goofy looking lame-duck president bush ducking the incoming shoe. and a helmet sticker goes to the iraqi prime minister for blocking the second projectile aimed at bush's cranium. some quick hands by al-maliki!
but after the laughter has subsided, let's all remember that until january 20th at high noon, george w. bush is still the president of the united states and leader of the free world. if not bush himself, the office of the president should command a certain level of respect not only here in the united states, but also in other countries around the world... especially in a country where we have squandered close to 5,000 soldiers' lives and over a trillion dollars over the past five years.
although, my household got a nice belly laugh with bush's theatric duck of the flying shoes (something that will certainly find its way into an upcoming Saturday Night Live skit), this was still a deplorable act directed at our president and indirectly at the american people who were duped by this president in "liberating" iraq from the rule of sadaam hussein.
al-baghdadia found an ideal stage for his protest; he is being hailed as a folk hero in iraq. but to my way of thinking, he has also hurled an international insult to the people of the united states. i'm sure the iraqi security detail has delivered the beatdown he so deserves - the BBC reports that muntadar al-zaidi suffered a broken hand, broken ribs and internal bleeding, as well as an eye injury according to his older brother, dargham.
and now it's time for plezWorld to keep it real! for the past eight years, Dubya has disrespected not only the people of iraq, the untold thousands of dead iraqis, the us servicemen (and women) who've given their limbs and lives for the illegal war in iraq, but also the american people who've had to put up with his jacked up and illegal policies that have so diminished the presidency of the united states that our country is a joke to these people. the line of people who'd like to put a foot up in the arse of george bush would stretch for miles in iraq... ...around the world... and throughout the united states!
al-baghdadia's shoes represent the feelings of millions of people who cannot wait for george bush to leave the white house on january 20th!
Read the New York Times article about the shoe hurled at President Bush.
Read the New York Times article about Muntader al-Zaidi is being hailed as a folk hero in Iraq.
Read the BBC article about al-zaidi's treatment in iraqi custody.
Read the CNN.com articles about the Iraqi shoe hurling incident here and here.
Read the CNN.com article with an explanation from the shoe-thrower's brother.