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Purple fingers for freedom

Dear Editor:Twice this year, millions of courageous Iraqis have risked their lives to exercise their right to vote, and will do so again next week, despite continued threats of terrorist attacks. The symbol of this unimaginably courageous effort is the purple ink stain on each voting Iraqi’s right index finger. Raised with pride in the “V for victory” sign, their purple fingers stand for democracy and freedom – not just for the Iraqi people, but as a beacon for oppressed peoples everywhere.In a region of the world where for many, the idea of all people being created equal is anathema, Iraqi women are especially courageous. They are casting their votes in a fledgling democracy, risking their lives to ensure that for the first time their voices will be heard. A purple index finger is a symbol of equality as Iraq demonstrates its standing as a Middle Eastern democracy in which Arab women, Muslims of all sects, and Iraqis of every religion have the right to vote.Starting Monday, Dec. 12, Americans are marking their right index fingers with purple ink to show those in Iraq that we support them. Retailers across America will be making available purple ink pads and markers at checkout counters for customers to mark their fingers in solidarity. I urge our local businesses to join this effort to show support for the brave individuals who must risk their lives to create a democracy and live in freedom.For more information, go to http://www.purplefingerforfreedom.org.Dr. Pamela ZukerAspen


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