Make a toast, say a prayer, swirl a New Year’s soundmaker for Al-Zaidi

For everyone who cares about human rights, for everyone who cares about a world with peace and justice, please keep Muntadhar Al-Zaidi in your thoughts tonight. 

KW: There is an excellent story about this situation at Huffington Post, “Pardon the Shoe Thrower“.

It has been over two weeks since Muntadhar Al-Zaidi was taken into custody in Iraq. It has been over two weeks that the Iraqi courts and Iraqi government have hid this man from the world, hiding what are no doubt injuries from the excessive force and/or torture during his interrogation. The world must be vigilant in demanding to see Al-Zaidi, to be able to see the extent of his injuries, to understand if he was wrongfully harmed or tortured. It is a shame that the Iraqi government and courts have kept him hidden, and a shame that George Bush has not insisted on letting Al-Zaidi be seen. I find it laughable that the Iraqi court suggests that the delay in his trial is because of an appeal, and uses that as an excuse to stall having to show the person they have in custody. It is not acceptable behavior. It is a horrible ploy. Please note that the last time Al-Zaidi was to appear in court, his family and the press showed up, and were told that Al-Zaidi had seen the judge in private. That is not proper justice. That is not accountability. The world must hold the Iraqi courts, Prime Minister Al-Maliki, and President Bush accountable.

For anyone who does not know the background:

Muntadhar is a journalist, who, when faced with a surprise visit by Bush – who plunged his country into war and occupation – had the presence of mind to say words about war and peace and make a dramatic and insulting act, bringing attention to the injustices of war. (He also threw a shoe, to help make his point, and to draw attention, and it sure did. It was probably not exactly correct to throw any object, but a shoe is pretty harmless, and much less harmless than the bombs that Bush has thrown.)

Please keep in your heart those that suffer, including Muntadhar Al-Zaidi in custody in Iraq, and the people of Gaza, who are being bombed by their occupiers.

2 Responses

  1. “not exactly correct to throw any object?” That means it is inexactly correct?

    While is does seem that Al Zaidi is being treated wrongly, I’m not thrilled that he has become the poster boy for the something movement. (I’m not sure which movement this appeals to. Maybe the hate Bush movement.)

    What about the children and families that are being killed in fighting who have done no violent act?

    Putting Al Zaidi on a pedestal sends just what message to children? That violence in conflict resolution is O.K. as long as you are less violent than the other person? As long as it is in response to other violence? Isn’t that what the U.S. says?

    Most of us get attracted to the person in the black beret with red star, gun in hand. Many, even in peace movements support wars of liberation. But are we all now willing to give up on nonviolence?


  2. When someone is in the custody of torturers and murders, I do not have time to argue about how many loafers fit on the head of a needle.

    If I were in prison, no matter what I did, and I was tortured and beaten, so that the courts feared showing my face to the public, I would only want people to write supportive messages.


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