Muntazer al-Zaidi could hardly have anticipated the extraordinary reaction when he hurled his shoes at George Bush to protest the invasion of Iraq. His “farewell kiss” to the US President has kept the previously unknown TV journalist in the center of global attention — a hero across the Arab world and beyond.
Zaidi’s emergence as a role model for anti-American resistance was confirmed by the Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who praised what he called the “shoe intifada (uprising)” at Tehran University.
In London, ‘Media Workers Against the War’ presented a box of shoes and a letter…to the US Embassy, stating the journalist was “guilty of nothing but expressing Iraqis’ legitimate and overwhelming opposition to the US-led occupation of their country”.
Ayatollah Jannati called for the [infamous] shoes to be deposited in a museum in Iraq. But Judge al-Kinani revealed they had been destroyed by investigators trying to determine whether they contained explosives.
Copycat footwear-hurling seems to have begun elsewhere, with a Ukrainian nationalist, as yet unnamed, throwing his boots at an Odessa speaker arguing in favor of NATO expansion.
It was also a busy week for the spin-off online game ‘Sock and Awe’, which lets players throw virtual loafers at Mr. Bush. The site says 46 million cyber-shoes had struck the presidential head as of Friday afternoon. (December 21, 2008. GUARDIAN)
Excerpts from article:
Photo shows Iraqis raising their shoes in Kufa, Iraq, on December 19, 2008, demanding the release of Muntazer al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at the U.S. president the previous Sunday.