30 year old Muntadhar al-Zeidi, the Iraqi journalist who rose to notoriety and fame for interrupting a Bush-Maliki conference in Baghdad in December 2008 has been sentenced to 3 years in jail on Thursday, March 12, 2009. He went on a shoe-throwing rampage which targeted, but missed visiting US president George W. Bush.
Swearing innocence to the charge of assault he said, “what I did was a natural response to the occupation,” referring to the US-led Iraq war against Saddam Hussein. For violating journalistic ethics and endangering the life of a dignitary, al Zeidi got the minimum sentence (max.15 years) to the charge which he can appeal. Upon hearing the sentence, some of al Zeidi’s relative’s fainted.
In a world where the boundary between right and wrong is often disputed, many in the Muslim world who laud the journalist’s action was disappointed with the verdict. Others who look at his misplaced display of anger and think of the assault as an immature tantrum think the sentence serves him right. =0=