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Bloomberg to Muslim leaders: ‘Shalom alaikum’

(JTA) — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg accidentally addressed Muslim leaders at a Ramadan gathering with a "Shalom."

Bloomberg apparently had intended to say “Salaam aleikum,” a traditional Arabic greeting, to those gathered at the Wednesday event at New York’s police headquarters. But instead the mayor said, "Shalom alaikum."

“Well, it’s common to both religions," Imam Omar Abunamous of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York told the New York Daily News. "They are the same thing. The same idea."

Like its Arabic counterpart, the Hebrew phrase "Shalom aleichem" is a greeting that means "peace be upon you."

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