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imperialism & war

Gaddafi Shoe Insult for Visiting Tony

Ibrahim Nawar, head of Arab Press Freedom Watch, said: "It was a deliberate act. He wanted to make Tony Blair look very, very small. You never show [the sole of] your shoe to anyone you remotely respect.
Gaddafi shoe insult

Mar 27 2004

By Matt Roper

COLONEL Gaddafi insulted Tony Blair by pointing the sole of a shoe towards him, Arab experts said yesterday.

They spoke of their shock and claimed it was a "deliberate act", as images of the historic meeting in Tripoli flashed around the world. Close watchers of the talks in a tent on Thursday between Mr Blair and the reformed Libyan leader noticed Gaddafi's foot pointing towards Mr Blair.

Yesterday, as more photos of their encounter were studied, influential Arabs said Gaddafi was offering the worst of all insults.

In the Arab world, shoes are considered unclean - signifying the lowliest and dirtiest part of the body.

DIG: Gaddafi's sole is turned towards Mr Blair as they talk

Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based Al-quds newspaper, said: "I'm completely shocked. The only thing worse would be a physical attack."

Ibrahim Nawar, head of Arab Press Freedom Watch, said: "It was a deliberate act. He wanted to make Tony Blair look very, very small. You never show your shoe to anyone you remotely respect.

"Blair must know enough about Arab culture to realise he was being humiliated." The Muslim Association of Great Britain said: "This shows Gaddafi hasn't changed."

Chris Doyle, director of the Council for British-Arab understanding, said: "If it was intentional, Gaddafi may have been trying to cover himself. He's saying, 'Yes I'm having a make-up with this man, but I'm still not entirely happy about it'."

When Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled in Baghdad last April, Iraqis flung their shoes and flip-flops at it.

It is also no coincidence that an impression of George Bush Snr's face was on a tiled mosaic at the entrance to Baghdad's Al-Rashid hotel. Downing Street refused to comment yesterday.
photo 27.Mar.2004 02:52


gaddafis sole

If the shoe fits... 27.Mar.2004 07:50

Point it

Of course Muammar Gaddafi would insult Blair or Bush or anyone he feels is going to attack him. All the major world leaders are dickhead assholes. That's how they got there.

Since American workplaces are becoming more ethnically diverse, I'll have to remember this gesture knowing that more people would recognize what this means.

More of the body talk 27.Mar.2004 10:27


Why is nothing mentioned about Blairs thumb on his thigh? Is this obvious reference to genatalia not important?

yes, but of course, but what does 27.Mar.2004 11:37

Tony Bliar

do in response? He maintains his Howdy Doody grin...as always! Is the guy on some kind of medications?
Why the same old grin for every occasion? Is he really a puppet or what?