Does It Really Matter If Obama Did Bow?

Obama bowing - Big Deal or Not?
Obama bowing - Big Deal or Not?

Maybe because of the way I was taught to always respect elders, and greet them properly especially when you are the visitor at someone’s house, that’s why I don’t see what the big deal is with Obama being respectful when greeting King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Everyone(mostly conservatives) seems to be making a big deal about President Obama bowing to the King of Saudi Arabia. Coming from my background, I know if I went to the Oba of Lagos’ palace, I’ll greet properly, and I’m sure it wont be a handshake or a hug – it will be more like lying flat on the ground. It really doesn’t matter if I’m the Igwe of Onitsha, or the Sultan of Brunei, I’d still greet the Oba of Lagos properly, and with his due respect.

“By bending over to show greater respect to Islam, the U.S. president belittled the power and independence of the United States,” the Washington Times said in an editorial. This kind of mentality and arrogance is a major reason the world outside of the United States & the Islam world perceives America the way it does. The King of Saudi Arabia is 84 years old, and President Obama is 47. This is common sense – at least that’s what I think anyways. I can’t think of anywhere else in the world where a 47 year old man, regardless of his political status greeting an 84 year man in traditional fashion would be looked at as blasphemy or belittling. Obama, I think, just displayed good home training, and humility – which I think should be admired rather than criticized.

The White House officially denied that he bowed, which is expected, but I thought it was a bow. Maybe not a full-fledged bow, but it was a bow regardless. However, if he did in fact bow, what’s the big deal? In this time of economic recession, and millions of job cuts, this is one of the lesser things to worry about. So what does everyone else think? Big Deal or Not?


  1. If you're a Nigerian kid evaluating this event, it's understandable if you come to the same conclusions as this article: No big deal. Hence Umaru Yar'adua says on meeting "W": "This is the greatest day of my life".

    But in international affairs, in the context of the current clash of civilizations and cultures, in the context of radical islam and the call for jihad, it is one huge of a deal if the POTUS is seen bowing to a Saudi king. The symbolism of the gesture is ranking to the psyche of all free people everywhere…and we should be able to be objective enough to, permit a cliche, call a spade a spade.

    The white House understands this, hence the attempt to spin the bow as a taller gentleman, stooping to shake the hands of a shorter one.

    That, as spins go, is the fattest mother of them all.

  2. I don't think there is anything wrong with the so-called bow either. Looking @ it from a biblical point of view (sorry, couldn't help it…), Obama humbled himself. Every1 and their mama knows which nation is bigger (between US of A & Saudi), so seriously…. what's all the noise about?

  3. The audience, criticism and media attention this gesture has brought is overwhelmingly stupid. To those who see it as a mark of submission to a foreign head of state, I say get over yourself and the Islamic phobia. He only showed respect like any respectable person would.

  4. This goes to further prove the egotistical and chauvinistic nature of the U.S! Thank God Obama is open-minded and doesn't live in "their" boxed world where the U.S gotta be 1st in everything (even in other people's country)! I find it funny that people like Rush Limbaugh and bill o'riley have the stinking nerves to "judge" other people and talk about how Obama is belittling the U.S while they go about everyday frustrating day of their lives talking about how they want this administration to fail!