London: Shoe throwing 'ritual form of protest'

London: Shoe throwing 'ritual form of protest'

And shooting guns in the air is a ritual form of celebration.


SCOTLAND YARD has bowed to Islamic sensitivities and accepted that Muslims are entitled to throw shoes in ritual protest — which could have the unintended consequence of politicians or the police being hit.

News of the concession by the Metropolitan police has come to light amid a series of trials of more than 70 mostly Muslim demonstrators who were charged with violent disorder after last year's Gaza protests outside the Israeli embassy in London.

Aquib Salim, 21, an IT student at Queen Mary, London University, who was involved in a shoe-throwing incident, is almost certain to avoid a prison sentence as a result.

Chris Holt, Salim's solicitor, said he was likely to get a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of throwing a stick at police lines.

"The court accepted that the earlier shoe-throwing incident was simply a ritual form of protest and therefore not a criminal act of violence," Holt said.

Judge Denniss agreed that the act of shoe-throwing should not be considered in a charge of violent disorder against the student because it was "a symbolic" political gesture.

Shoes, and particularly the soles of shoes, are regarded as ritually unclean in the Islamic world. An Iraqi journalist became a folk hero for throwing a shoe at President George W Bush during a press conference in December 2008.


Source: Times Online, h/t HotAir

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