Biden uses Arabic phrase ‘inshallah’ in debate with Trump, causing social media storm

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures while speaking during the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP)

After using Arabic expression “inshallah” in the first US presidential debate, Democratic candidate Joe Biden is at the center of a social media storm.

Biden used the phrase during an exchange in the first half of Tuesday's debate regarding the release of US President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

When Trump said his tax return would be released to the public “as soon its finished,” Biden responded: “When? Inshallah?”

Inshallah, translated as “God willing,” is a phrase often used sincerely, but can also be used in a sarcastic manner, meaning something is unlikely to happen.

While many users praised the former US vice president for using the expression in the proper context, others questioned his pronunciation.

The word is usually pronounced “In-sha-lah” or “Insha-allah.”

However Biden’s pronunciation - “In-shala” – had some viewers wondering if he had instead said “enchilada” – a traditional Mexican dish.

Others suggested Biden had said “in July” or “next July,” rather than the common Arabic expression.

However the Biden campaign confirmed to American public news outlet NPR after the debate that he did in fact use the phrase “inshallah.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 30 September 2020 KSA 14:54 - GMT 11:54
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