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Firas Al-Atraqchi: Freedom for All, Except Arabs

U.S.: Freedom for All, Except Arabs and Muslims

By Firas Al-Atraqchi
Memorial Day, U.S.A.

CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC and a host of other television networks fell all over themselves this Memorial Day to honor those who died for freedom, American values, and justice.

There was U.S. President Bush at Normandy giving the world an emotional speech about defending democracy.

Just which democracy and freedom is everyone talking about?

Is it the type of democracy that allows San Francisco police to brutally pull an 11-year old girl demonstrating at an anti-war rally, beat her, push her head down into the mud, bind her, leave her humiliated for 5 minutes and then arrest her older brother for bringing her to the demonstration?

(See more pictures:

The girl was part of a 150-strong protest against U.S. policies in Afghanistan and Palestine. The demonstrators had received permission to hold their demonstration as long as it was restricted to the bridge walkway.

San Francisco police claim that they were forced to make arrests because the demonstrators were not walking fast enough to get off the bridge by 2:00pm PST.

According to a CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) press release, "a prominent national Islamic advocacy organization is calling for the suspension of California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers who the group says assaulted an 11-year-old Muslim girl during a anti-war, pro-Palestinian rally Saturday in San Francisco."

The girl was charged with assault and battery.

Happy Memorial Day.

- Firas Al-Atraqchi, MA, is a Canadian journalist living on the Pacific Coast

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