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Monday, 24 September 2012

On This Tragic Day in Recent American History.....

11006 Veirs Mill Rd, STE L-15, PMB 298
Silver Spring, MD. 20902
(September 23, 2012)
Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):
Today marks the second anniversary of U.S. District Judge Richard Berman's unconscionable act of condemning Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years of imprisonment following an embarrassing "legal" proceeding that masqueraded as a trial.
It was a trial in which all of the evidence - both material and circumstantial - was in Aafia's favor; it was a trial in which the government's star witnesses contradicted themselves repeatedly; it was a trial in which Aafia Siddiqui (a political prisoner in a very high-profile political trial) was ill-served by her high paid team of private attorneys; and it was a trial in which many of the "leaders" of her own faith community (who knew of her plight) were afraid, or too indifferent, to mobilize communal support for her to the degree they were capable!
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui now sits in solitary confinement in a notorious prison hospital known as FMC Carswell, on a military base in Ft. Worth, Texas. While we would have liked to have organized a public demonstration in New York (where she was sentenced) or Texas (where she is currently imprisoned) we unfortunately did not have the resource on hand to do so. I am pleased to note, however, that a demonstration is taking place today at the U.S. Embassy in London - organized by the Justice For Aafia Coalition (JFAC) - and, no doubt, at a number of other locations in the international community.
With that said, WE MUST STEP IT UP IN AMERICA where this innocent Muslimah is being held!
What follows is a message from a non-Muslim brother in this struggle who has known Aafia and her family for many years, and the statement of ours that will be read at the demonstration in London today, insha'Allah.
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

September 23

This day in 2010 Richard Berman Condemned Aafia to 86 Years of Isolation

On Sep 28, 2010 approximately half a million people poured into the streets of Karachi to peacefully express their support for Aafia Siddiqui following the actions of Richard Berman on Sept 23, 2010. This has to date been the largest public rally in recent Pakistani history and one that stayed true to Aafia's request that no violence be done in her name.

A Reflection from British Author and Commentator, Andy Worthington:
I’m sorry to report that it’s two years since the Pakistani neuroscientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui received an 86-year sentence in a court in New York...
The trial of Aafia Siddiqui, which culminated in her sentence, and which I described at the time as “barbaric,” appeared to be a cover for a much grimmer story — one of the darkest in the whole of the torture-filled “war on terror” — in which, on the basis of alleged connections with terrorism that have never been proved, she had disappeared with her children in Pakistan in March 2003 and was then held in a “black site” until her engineered reappearance in Ghazni in 2008.
According to the US authorities, after being captured in a bewildered state, she allegedly tried and failed to shoot the Americans guarding her, which provided an excuse to render her to the US to be put on trial — an unusual move given that most people accused of anti-American activities in Afghanistan did not end up in the US — and for her to be silenced as a result of the 86-year sentence handed down after a trial that critics called “a grave miscarriage of justice,” and to be held in isolation in a psychiatric prison/hospital for women in Carswell, Texas, notoriously referred to as the “hospital of horrors”, where her health continues to deteriorate, and where she is denied meaningful contact with her family...
As time passes ...several significant figures have very publicly expressed their disgust at Aafia’s plight, and the severity of her sentence. Recently, for example, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark visited Pakistan and stated, “Justice demands that Aafia Siddiqui should immediately be released. I haven’t witnessed such bare injustice in my entire career.” In addition, Khurshid Kasuri, Pakistan’s foreign minister under Pervez Musharraf, the President at the time of Aafia’s disappearance, has stated, “I’m so sorry for handing over the innocent Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to the Americans. It was my biggest mistake ever.”
Furthermore, just this week US Senator Mike Gravel, accompanied by the attorney Tina Foster of the International Justice Network, also visited Pakistan, where, as the Express Tribune described it, they “said that the Musharraf regime had illegally kidnapped Dr. Aafia along with her three children from Karachi in March 2003, and handed her over to the US government for illegal interrogation and secret detention based on completely false information.” The Express Tribune added that Sen. Gravel “maintained that Dr Aafia’s trial in the United States was illegal,” and “added that the US government had no moral or legal justification for their actions.”
Both he and Tina Foster stressed, however, that the Pakistani government “would have to take serious action if it wanted Dr. Siddiqui to be repatriated.” Foster said, “We have received no cooperation from the Government of Pakistan in securing Dr Siddiqui’s repatriation to Pakistan. There’s been a lot of talk, but no concrete steps have been taken despite numerous requests for assistance.” She added, “I’ve come on a humanitarian mission to ask Pakistani leadership for its assistance in returning Dr. Siddiqui to Pakistan. It’s obvious that the will of the Pakistani people is being ignored by their leadership.”...
Mr. Worthington's full posting can be viewed here
The Name of The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful
Solidarity Statement with the International Campaign
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
On the occasion of the second anniversary of the wrongful conviction and sentencing of a committed Muslimah by the name of Aafia Siddiqui - a political prisoner and prisoner of war being held under conditions that violate the U.S. Constitution’s theoretical guarantee against cruel and unusual punishment, and Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which theoretically guarantees “Freedom from torture and degrading treatment” – we salute the men and women of conscience who gather at the U.S. Embassy in London (and other venues in the global community) to raise their voices on behalf of the voiceless.
Sheikh Ibn Taymeeyah (may ALLAH be pleased with him) correctly noted many generations ago:
“Civilization is based on justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating; therefore it is said, ALLAH aids the Just State even if it is non-Muslim; yet withholds His Help from the Oppressive State, even if it is Muslim.” With this in mind, it is self-evident that the action you are taking for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is an action you are taking for us all. May ALLAH bless you for it!
Of particular note, I wish to thank The Justice For Aafia Coalition (JFAC) for the phenomenal work they have been doing, on a consistent basis, to help lead the global campaign for our sister’s release and repatriation; and I pray that they receive consistent communal support commensurate with their noble efforts.
For those in England (and beyond) who are still fence-sitting on this extremely important issue of international precedent-setting consequence, I end with the memorable words of white South African Alan Paton in Cry the Beloved Country:
“I shall no longer ask myself if this or that is expedient; only if it is right. I do it not because I am noble or unselfish; but because life slips away, and I need for the rest of my journey a star that will not play false to me, a compass that will not lie. I do it because I can no longer aspire to the highest with one part of myself, yet deny it with the other.”
Standing UP for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is the right thing to do! May ALLAH bless your noble efforts on the occasion of this dark anniversary, and may it be an elevating inspiration for us all.
In the never-ending struggle for peace thru justice,
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation
United States of America
Dhul Qidah 1433 A.H. (Sept 23, 2012)
This would be a fitting occasion to revisit the September 2, 2012, statement of Imam Abdullah Faaruuq; another good man, and principled leader, who knew Aafia well from her years of positive activism in Boston, MA.
In the Name of Allah: The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Who Is She?
By Imam Abdullah Faaruuq & Sister Sufia Hassan
If we are going to give support to this woman Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Who is she and what did she do?’ We know the answer is going to vary depending upon whom we ask. If we ask those who know her -- her friends, associates, family, those who lived, studied or worked with her - they would attest to her good character, concern for others, and truthfulness. However, if we ask those who never knew her, but only heard through the media via government officials, they would say she is an evil woman, an attempted murderer bent on destroying America—a terrorist. We are told in Islam to ask those who know—I am one who knew her personally.
By virtue of her behavior and speech, nothing could be further from the truth than those lies used to turn public opinion against her. I can tell you how she spent her time. I witnessed her raising money for clothing and food for the displaced Bosnians fleeing from Serbian oppression. I worked with her as she raised money to purchase and distribute Islamic literature. Those efforts reached the forgotten inmates seeking knowledge of the truth about Islam, while incarcerated in so-called correctional institutions. Her resources also made their way to university students in MSAs providing them literature to promote their spiritual growth, while they continued to pursue their secular endeavors. But her efforts did not stop there, she sent much needed Qurans and other literature to various Mosques to help promote Islam as a complete way of life.
I listened to her deliver inspiring speeches that motivated both men and women to get involved with issues that concerned humanity as a whole and Muslims in particular. Such speeches were given during the Bosnian War. After hearing this young dynamic woman speak, no one could continue to be a by-stander in good conscience. Reading about our Muslim Brothers being killed and Muslim Sisters being raped, while the world looked on was not an option. She encouraged doctors to go and donate their services, and sisters to give money to support that effort. Money for food and clothing was collected to help the Bosnian refugees. She also gave speeches that encouraged Muslim women to not be afraid to cover as Allah commanded, or practice their religion openly in this land of the free and home of the brave. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s speeches always motivated people towards noble and righteous causes that any sound minded American would support.
I witnessed her as a mother truly concerned for her children. They were well groomed and cared for. I ate delicious food cooked with her own hands and enjoyed her company and wit. She was a Muslim woman who was not afraid to champion the cause of oppressed people, her people who happened to be Muslims. This is the Aafia Siddiqui that I know.
If we listen to those who never knew her and have political agendas, we would be lead to believe that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui must have committed some heinous crime for authorities to abduct her in her own homeland, transport her across the border, have her missing for five years, release and re-arrest her, shoot and wound her, then charge her with unsubstantiated accusations of assaulting an FBI agent with his own weapon in an attempt to kill him. We would also be lead to believe that while she and her children were missing for five years, that she ran away and actively participated in some Al Qaeda operations which never manifested and for which she was never charged. If the US government is unable to charge her with any crimes of terrorism, than why did they chase her around the world and subject her to all forms of torture.
We would be lead to believe that this graduate of MIT and Brandeis University would be willing to sacrifice her life and the lives of her children for an impractical cause. We would have to ignore the fact that there was no forensic evidence that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui ever touched an assault weapon (none of her finger prints were on any of the weapons). We would have to ignore the evidence presented in court that not one bullet from the automatic weapon authorities claimed that she fired was found among the barrage of bullets in the space in which she was contained. We would also have to ignore the fact that she was the only one shot and nearly killed.
For me Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a political prisoner being held unjustly in a maximum security prison for showing concern for Muslims here and abroad. The question still remains, who is Dr Aafia Siddiqui to you?
Imam Abdullah Faaruuq
Mosque for The Praising of Allah
(T) 617-442-2805 (F) 617-445-2345
724 Shawmut Ave.
Roxbury MA 02119
Insha'Allah, El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan will be the guest khatib for jumuah (in which the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui will figure prominently in the khutbah) at The Grand Mosque in Parma, Ohio, on Friday, October 19, 2012. A community forum will also follow (the details of which are still being worked out).
A Special Community Forum is also being planned for Saturday, December 1st, at the Islamic Society of Central Jersey (ISCJ) in Monmouth, NJ.


Free All Political Prisoners!

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