The first debate pitting incumbent Republican President Donald Trump against Democratic challenger Joe Biden saw personal attacks and insults exchanged between the two leaders. While shooting verbal volleys at each other, Biden said something which sent the Mideast into a frenzy.
Citing the New York Times report that claimed Trump had paid merely $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 after being elected president, Biden cast doubts if Trump would ever release his tax returns. To this, Trump replied, “Millions of dollars and you’ll get to see it.”
When debate moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump to commit a deadline, Biden interjected, “When? Inshallah?”
Inshallah in Arabic means ‘God willing’. It also can be used in a way to suggest something won’t ever happen.
Many on Twitter were immediately debating whether Biden had indeed used the Arabic expression or not.
Al-Arabiya, a Saudi-owned satellite channel based in Dubai and The National, a statelinked newspaper in Abu Dhabi, both published articles noting Biden’s use of the word.
Arab News tweeted, ” Did @JoeBiden just say?”
— Arab News (@arabnews) September 30, 2020
Here’s how other Twitter users reacted.
Dang he even used it properly. IA=not gonna happen
— Bayan (@Raji_B) September 30, 2020
“Joe Biden: inshallah..” one user wrote. “habibis, it’s happening…” he added.
Joe Biden: “inshallah”
habibis, it’s happening…
— Siraj Hashmi (@SirajAHashmi) September 30, 2020
“A historic moment in America — inshallah in a presidential debate,” BuzzFeed News immigration reporter Hamed Aleaziz tweeted.
a historic moment in America — inshallah in a presidential debate
— Hamed Aleaziz (@Haleaziz) September 30, 2020
An Emirati political scientist Abdul-khaleq Abdulla wrote on Twitter that he saw the debate as a “tumultuous verbal battle”.
“How did America reach this level of political decline,” he wrote.
The New York Times report claimed Trump has paid no income taxes in 10 out of the last 15 years as he reported losing more money than he actually made. Trump has rebuffed the charges as “fake news”, claiming that he has paid millions in tax returns over the years.
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