Friday, March 09, 2007

It's All Chanting to Them

Jordan's King Abdullah spoke before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, pleading for greater U.S. involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation process. I won't get into the reasonableness of what he had to say, or how it reflects precisely what Bush has repeatedly been told by almost everyone remotely knowledgeable about the conflict (as well as by his own hand-picked goodwill ambassador Karen Hughes), or how delivering a speech on the subject of Israel and Palestine without referencing every single act of Palestinian violence since the riots of 1920 apparently equals anti-Semitism as far as many of our AIPAC-educated legislators are concerned, but I am interested in this exchange, which so far I've only seen reported by Fox News:

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison is the first Muslim member of Congress. Upon Abdullah's recognition, he shook hands with his seated neighbors, Reps. John Lewis, Rahm Emanuel and Hoyer.

At the end of the speech when the king offered a traditional Arabic greeting for peace, Ellison vocally responded in kind. He was the only attendee to do so and gave an embarrassed laugh as people turned to look at him.

As-salaam alaikum (Peace be upon you.) Wa alaikum salaam. (And upon you, peace.)

I wish I could've seen the look on Virgil Goode's face.

Over at the open sewer that is Little Green Footballs, they accuse Ellison of "chanting" in Arabic.