Mogul and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump displayed an astounding ignorance Friday with his comments on the unofficial leader of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed.
You know what, I gotta tell you, I have a lot of respect for the guy. The Sheikh and I have done a ton of business together, and I’ve been telling him, you know, get dressed. ‘Cause it’s all about presentation. And he’s basically wearing a bathrobe. It’s not easy to take him seriously.
In the hours since, protesters in Dubai have already burned Trump in effigy, promising that his “ignorance will be his undoing”.
This comes almost 10 years after George W. Bush’s famous U.N. gaffe, where he praised the Saudi delegation for being “hopefully the first among many” nations to feature “transgendered persons” among a diplomatic retinue.
At the time of his comment, Saudi Arabia was taking much heat for its “barbarian” practices with respect to sexuality and orientation, and the President was roundly criticized for being unaware of all of this. In the days that followed, he issued a statement apologizing:
I’ve had a few days to be caught up, and I see where I got muddled up, as they say in Texas.I was not aware that they were wearing thawbs. And you have to understand, keffiyeh’s aren’t usually red. It was pretty, and I was surprised.
Although at the time, the public seemed to generally forgive Bush’s accidental offence, Trump has routinely been making comments of this nature, and his views may be taken to be more representative of his actual beliefs. However, with his media presence, who knows – we might soon see similar figures in the Middle East wearing clothing with pants. We’re living in interesting times.
A thawb or thobe (Arabic: ثَوب / ALA-LC: thawb), dishdasha (دِشداشَة / dishdāshah), kandura (كَندورَة / kandūrah), khamis (Somali: khamiis / khamīs) in Somalia or jalabiyyah in Libya, is an ankle-length Arab garment, usually with long sleeves, similar to a robe.