The Corner

More on Yale flag burning

Clint Taylor points out that the February 2006 NYT Magazine profile of Hashemi (the Yale Taliban) mentions Hyder Akbar, the flag-burner arrested yesterday, as in the former Taliban spokesman’s social circle at Yale. An excerpt:

“Fahad, Hyder, Rahmatullah, me — we fight every day,” Ahmed says. “We have lunch together. At 6 o’clock we meet for dinner at the Slifka Center. We sit together and eat food off one plate and talk about things. Sometimes we make fun of the Taliban. Every day we come up with something to fight about. We pretend to be only mocking, but we’re genuinely angry. Friendship to a Pashtun means you have exclusive rights to abuse each other… Rahmatullah loves the equality of how people are over here. He’s very down to earth. He gets a lot of respect at Yale. If you want to test a man’s character, either give him power or take it away — and see how he responds. I’m proud to be his friend.”

Of course, the reason for their arrest for arson was not the flag-burning so much as that it wasn’t their flag but was rather on someone else’s property.

Michael Rubin is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, senior lecturer at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Civil-Military Relations, and a senior editor of the Middle East Quarterly.

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