Global News Blog: Iraq shoe thrower ‘was tortured’

September 29, 2009  

Posted by Sydney Holt

You may remember the somewhat comical video of the Iraqi journalist who threw not one, but two, shoes at former US President George W. Bush that surfaced about one year ago. BBC News is reporting that shortly after his release from a Baghdad prison, Muntadar al-Zaidi, is claiming he was tortured. He demanded an apology; however, Iraqi officials told the BBC his claims should be investigated.

His protest last December made him a hero for many Arabs. He has reportedly received offers of money, jobs and even marriage from across the Arab world. While watching the BBC world news tonight, I couldn’t help but wonder how Americans would feel if a fellow American assaulted a foreign leader. I think I would feel embarrassed that such important world issues were being overshadowed by a childish act of violence. I feel like as SMU students we are taught to speak our mind confidently, but also to respect others. Watching this video reminds me of the old phrase, “Actions speak louder than words.” Not many people remember Zaidi speaking for the widows and orphans killed in Iraq, all we remember is the guy who threw his shoes.

Muntadar al-Zaidi was sentenced to three years in jail. But he had the term reduced to 12 months on appeal and was released three months early for good behavior. His family plans to throw him a welcome home party. Bush’s reaction: “It was amusing – I’ve seen a lot of weird things during my presidency, and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest.”

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