06 Apr 2007

Yale Flag Burner Reportedly Friend of Ramatullah

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The British Telegraph reports that 23 year-old, Afghan-born Hyder Akbar, one of the three Yale students recently arrested for setting on fire an American flag hanging from the porch of a private home in New Haven, was a friend of Sayed Ramahtullah Hashemi, the former Taliban foreign ministry spokesman whose attendance at Yale as a special student led to considerable controversy in the aftermath of an admiring New York Times’ profile.

The Telegraph also quotes the offended home owner.

Marc Suraci, the owner of the house, said: “I’ve heard people say it was just an innocent prank but people who go to Yale are smart. I’d imagine there’s an agenda behind it.” …

“My great-grandfather fought in World War One, my grandfather fought in World War Two and my uncle served in Vietnam. I’m patriotic. My family has shed blood for our country.

“I like to show solidarity with the men and women who are fighting for our freedom. If I was in Afghanistan or Pakistan and I burned one of their flags, I wonder what would happen to me?”

Read the whole thing.

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