Malaysian minister praises Iraqi shoe-thrower
Malaysia's foreign minister has praised the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoes at President George W Bush, saying it was the "best show of retaliation" for the US invasion of Iraq.world Updated: Dec 20, 2008 12:00 IST
Malaysia's foreign minister has praised the Iraqi journalist who tossed his shoes at President George W Bush, saying it was the "best show of retaliation" for the US invasion of Iraq.
Rais Yatim praised "the shoe-throwing act by that remarkable reporter who gave President Bush his final farewell last week." "That shoe-throwing episode, in my view, is truly the best weapon of mass destruction to the leader who coined the phrase 'axis of evil' to denote Iran, Iraq and North Korea," he said in a speech late Friday at a dinner to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the United Nations.
Television reporter Muntadar al-Zeidi stunned observers when he threw both his shoes at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on December 14. Bush deftly ducked out of the way both times.
The reporter also shouted in Arabic, "This is your farewell kiss, you dog!" In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of deep contempt.
Al-Zeidi has been handed over to the Iraqi judiciary. Bush has played down the incident, but the case became a rallying point among opponents of the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis demonstrated Friday for al-Zeidi's release.
A Saudi man reportedly offered $10 million for the shoes, and an Iranian cleric suggested they should become museum pieces.
However, authorities said the shoes had been destroyed by investigators. Predominantly Muslim Malaysia opposes the US-led war in Iraq, but supports Washington in its fight against global terrorism.