Mayor Bloomberg, who is known for mangling names and phrases, greeted Muslim leaders at a Ramadan gathering with the phrase "shalom alaikum," instead of the Arabic "salaam alaikum."
Imam Omar Abunamous of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York told the Daily News that the Jewish mayor's mistake was understandable.
"Well, it's common to both religions," Abunamous said. "They are the same thing. The same idea."
Bloomberg was speaking Wednesday at a gathering of Muslim leaders at police headquarters.
The mayor has a long and colorful history of malapropisms, including introducing former Yankee manager Joe Torre as "Joe Torres," and recalling the famous singing duo "Simon and Garfinkle."
The billionaire media mogul also fondly describes a piece of artwork in his home as depicting two "flamingo dancers."
He also famously referred to Shania Twain as "SHA-na-ga Twain" and Tim McGraw as "Tom McGraw" when announcing that the Country Music Association would be coming to Manhattan.