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Support Peace for All, Ensure Justice for Aafia: Mobilization for Aafia Siddiqui

Posted by on Mar 30th, 2011 and filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By EL-HAJJ MAURI’ SAALAKHAN

“Three classes of men [and women] are cut off from the blessings of Paradise: oppressors; those who aid and abet oppression; and those who tolerate oppression.”–       Imam Ali ibn abu-Talib (r)

THIS letter pertains to an extremely important mobilization in defense of one of our sisters, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. In over two decades of human rights work, the case involving this Muslim woman has been the heaviest on my heart.

While driving in the south recently, I heard a BBC report announcing the resignation of PJ Crowley, former spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State. The report stated that he resigned after delivering a speech in which he said, “Holding Pvt. Manning in solitary confinement, and forcing him to strip repeatedly, was counterproductive and ridiculous.” (Pvt. Manning is alleged to be the source of the Wikileaks revelations.)

I couldn’t agree more. I consider such treatment to be a gross violation of the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee against “cruel and unusual punishment.” That said, I could not help but be struck by the FACT that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has been put through far more over the past eight years of brutal incarceration than Pvt Manning has; first as a secretly held prisoner overseas for five years (2003-2008), and then under a maximum security imprisonment regime in the United States of America (2008 to the present).

It is now an established FACT – thanks to the results of a recently released investigative report by the International Justice Network (IJN) – that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three young children were the targets of a rendition operation in March 2003; an operation that was probably ordered by the US government (surely ALLAH knows best).

During Aafia’s secret imprisonment at Baghram (Afghanistan), it is a known FACT that she was tortured in a variety of ways (both physical and psychological); and that after she was brought half-dead to the United States, part of her continued maltreatment (while being held at a maximum security detention center in Brooklyn, NY) was the repeated and unnecessary strip searches that she (a modest, hijab observing Muslim woman) was forced to endure.

Aafia’s trial ended with her being found guilty on all counts – despite the overwhelming material evidence in her favor, and the contradictory testimony of the government’s star witnesses. At her sentencing a few months later she was given an additional punishment of 86 years (A LIFE SENTENCE); and since her transfer to a federal institution in Ft. Worth Texas she has continued to be cut off from the outside world. Aafia cannot even receive a visit from her own blood brother who lives in Houston! This is why the upcoming mobilization, on Saturday April 9th, is so very important!

It is our belief that the freedom of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui will only come through a political decision being made at the highest levels of our government, and that this will only come after a certain amount of pressure has been generated in the court of public opinion. America has to be embarrassed (both here and abroad) by what it has done – and continues to do – to this Muslim woman. We all have a part to play in this process.

The purpose of the Tuesday, April 5, town meeting in Houston (7:30 pm at Mumineen Hall, 8875 Benning Drive, Houston), will be to have a community discussion on this case – and the equally important peripheral issues surrounding it – and to identify concerned citizens who would be willing to make the drive from Houston to Ft. Worth, Texas, on Saturday, April 9. The central purpose of this initiative is to help generate some of that much needed positive pressure in the court of public opinion.

The following morning (April 6) I will depart for Dallas, and spend Wednesday-Friday beating the drums in that area for a broad-based community response to this extremely important call. Our most immediate need at this juncture is: (a) assistance in getting the word out on this mobilization as broadly as possible, and BY EVERY MEANS AVAILABLE – i.e. word of mouth, the internet (e-mail, social networks, etc.); (b) monetary support, from those who can afford to give.

We need Muslims (especially) who feel the urgency of this call to respond as quickly as possible, so that this effort will not be hampered in any way by the lack of adequate funding. If you would like to help, please send a donation via check or money order to the following:

The Peace Thru Justice Foundation

11006 Veirs Mill Road

STE L-15, PMB 298

Silver Spring, MD. 20902

May ALLAH guide, fortify, and sustain us in the human rights struggles ahead. Ameen.

1 Response for “Support Peace for All, Ensure Justice for Aafia: Mobilization for Aafia Siddiqui”

  1. Atiq says:

    Allah is great.We hope Afifa will be free soon help of Allah.
    May ALLAH guide, fortify, and sustain us in the human rights struggles ahead. Ameen.

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