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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ahmadinejad Attacked With Shoe in Cairo

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to Cairo, which stared with an affectionate welcome from Egypt’s new Islamist president, turned less pleasant as the day wore on. First, he was lectured by a senior Sunni Muslim cleric and then was nearly struck with a shoe by a man furious at Iran’s support for the Syrian government.

A correspondent for Turkey’s Anadolu Agency captured the unsuccessful shoe attack on video and reported that the bearded man who tried to strike the Iranian president was a Syrian who shouted, “You killed our brothers!”

Video from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency of a man hurling a shoe at Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in Cairo on Tuesday.

According to the Turkish news agency’s report, the man “was immediately detained” after hitting Mr. Ahmadinejad’s bodyguards with his shoe at Cairo’s al-Hussein mosque.

While striking someone with the sole of one’s shoe has been a sign of disrespect in Arab countries for years, the insult spread to other parts of the world after an Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, nearly hit President George W. Bush with both of his shoes at a news conference in Baghdad in 2008.

Associated Press video of an Iraqi journlist throwing his shoes at President George W. Bush in Baghdad in 2008.