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article imageShoe-throwing al-Zaidi is Object of Idol Worship by Iraqi Women

By Sandy Sand     Mar 14, 2009 in Lifestyle
He’s not Michael Jackson, Leonardo DiCapprio, George Clooney or any other pop star who would be thought of as an idol for young people, but, none the less, an idol he has become.
Muntader al-Zaidi the Iraqi journalist, who infamously threw his shoes at George Bush during a press conference in Iraq in December, has become the object of idol worship and adulation by young Iraqi women.
His sentence of three years in prison handed down by an Iraqi court on Thursday only served to endeared him all the more to the Iraqi people.
Throwing a shoe at someone is considered the ultimate expression of contempt, and the former president of the United States earned more than enough from Iraqis who detest him for destroying their country.
Al-Zaidi express his vehement distain for George Bush when he threw his shoes, and besides earning him a few beatings by Iraqi police and a prison term, it also garnered him love and respect for doing something they wanted to do.
That respect wasn’t limited to Iraqi citizens and were expressed by Zainab Mahdi, 19, and her sister Hanan Mahdi, 22, both of whom told the New York Times:
"We were in Syria when he hurled his shoe at Bush, and we noticed the change in the way Syrian people treated us...they treated us in a better way."
They added:
"Every Iraqi wanted to beat Bush. Muntader made our wishes come true," they said with passion. “Muntader made us proud of ourselves as Iraqis."
The Times interview 20 women, and most expressed “positive sentiments” about al-Zaidi and were stirred to anger over his imprisonment.
Thirty-one-year-old housewife Um Baneen said:
"Zaidi restored Iraqi women's dignity, which was stolen" after the 2003 American invasion.
Echoing the sentiments was Atyaf Mahmoud, 19, a medical student, who said:
"No one dared to face Bush in the whole world, only Muntader al-Zaidi. I love Zaidi. I saw him in my dreams twice. I was so excited in that sweet dream,” she said. “I wish to have that dream again.”
Of all the women who were interviewed, the lone voice of disagreement came from another homemaker, Zahra Fadhil, 29, who said no model man would abuse democracy the way Zaidi did. She said:
“The three-year sentence is a lesson to all Iraqis who are willing to do shameful acts and pretend that it’s democracy.”
More about Iraq, Show thrower, Idol women
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