Sr. Aafia’s bail hearing has been postponed to September 3. Please make dua’ that she be released, and please keep her and her three children in mind and your dua’s as you read this story.
A new chapter in the long and painful saga of the “War on Terror” has been revealed to the public. The facts are murky, the details impossible to confirm.
While there are several possibilities, there is one that most will find almost impossible to believe. We are not ready to believe that Dr. Aafia is a star terrorist– a claim that is ironically being pushed by the US Government and not denied by Al-Qaeda. Why? The answer lies in each group’s malicious agenda.
On one hand, we have the US Government: a government which has some serious face-saving to do, and a million questions to answer… starting with questions about the denial of basic fundamental due-process and equal protection rights protected by the US Constitution (5th and 14th Amendment) to Dr. Aafia:
No person shall be…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law [5th Amendment]
No State… shall..deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws [14th Amendment]
On the other hand, we have Al-Qaeda and its sympathizers, who have their own propaganda to put forth… what better story to use to brainwash and recruit more youth than a story about a woman, who (in their concoction) is highly educated yet leaves a good life in the West to join their “jihad” against the disbelievers? In this episode, as in many others, the US government is yet again providing the terrorists with more fodder for recruitment.
And so Dr. Aafia became a pawn in this war of lies and twisted politics, and we forgot the “person” in the story– the person of Dr. Aafia– a petite, brilliant woman, a constant da’i (caller to Islam), and most tragic of all, a mother of three missing children!
There have been many other different claims surrounding Dr. Siddiqui: That she was the mysterious Grey Lady of Bagram (Prisoner 650), whose screams of pain were heard and recorded by Moazzem Baig and others; that she was a top al-Qaeda operative (does anyone else find that this label is getting a bit old?); that her life as a “normal Boston mom” was really a cover for a sensational double life that involved the diamond trade in Liberia. My cynical eyes find this more akin to the plot of the next Bourne movie than a bona fide case of terrorism.
What do we know? Or better put, what do we think we know?
–We know that she is a Pakistani-American neuroscientist, a graduate of MIT. She is NOT a neurologist or a microbiologist (!), as the lying, right-wing, Islamophobic propagandists, looking for a female “Islamic villain” (enough of male ones already available), have claimed. One such islamophobe Michelle Malkin headlined her blog post with this distortion. Just goes to show that in the rush of propaganda, truth usually becomes one of the first casualties.
–Dr. Aafia went to University of Houston for a year in 1991, before transferring to MIT. Those who knew her while she was on campus at U. Houston, talk about Dr. Afia as being always busy with some of the same things she was doing at MIT: studying hard and giving dawah to others. They also mention that she was in fact quite liberal in her views (consider this: does her graduation picture appear one of an extremist?). Her extended family is still settled in Houston, all involved in the Muslim community there. Her brother in fact was the architect for a beautiful ISGH Mosque in Houston.
–We are told that in 2001, before 9/11, Dr. Aafia was alleged to be involved in an illegal diamond trading scheme, in Africa, and in support of Al-Qaeda. What is amazing and quite eye-opening (with regards to the weakness of the prosecution’s case) is that Dr. Aafia’s location during this summer time-frame can easily be proven! And it happens to be in the United States!
But how can our law enforcement miss this?? Let’s see… didn’t the Feds arrest a Muslim convert for a terror operation in Spain because of an apparent finger-print match? The only problem was that Br. Brandon Mayfield never traveled to Spain from the US! As everyone knows, he was released and compensated. So, yes, there is something to be said for incompetence in the ranks of our federal law enforcement agencies. Or is it the desire to keep finding pawns in the “war against terrorism”? And consequently to keep alive the funding for the witch-hunt against Muslims in America? As long as you can make some headlines (the Brandon case made many), later losses in the judicial system become acceptable, as long as they remain relegated to page 14 of the papers.
Also consider who broke the diamond trade story in WSJ. None other than Douglas Farah, who of course has no conflict of interest other than a book he is trying to sell on this very subject (“Blood from Stones“). Douglas Farah (no relation to the notorious islamophobe Joseph Farah), seems to be a “jihadi-hunter” like his friend Steve Emerson. Interestingly, they plan, but Allah is the best planner. As it turns out, this story may actually help Dr. Aafia in her case:
One month after the FBI press conference, a bombshell from the Wall Street Journal hit Sharp’s [Dr. Aafia’s attorney] desk, and she knew it was just the thing she needed. The newspaper broke the story linking the woman involved in the 2001 diamond trade in Liberia (a story detailed by Douglas Farah, a senior fellow at the National Strategy Information Center, in his book Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror) to Aafia Siddiqui.
Sharp says the allegation was a blessing in disguise because it places Siddiqui somewhere at a specific time. She says she can prove Siddiqui was in Boston that week. “If we can show that Aafia was here and not in Liberia, then that’s the stone that slays Goliath,” Sharp says.
–She disappeared sometime in spring 2003, about a month after the arrest of terrorism suspect, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed:
About a month after his [Khalid S. Mohammed] capture in the spring of 2003, however, she disappeared. The last her mother remembers, Siddiqui was piling herself and her kids, then seven, five, and six months old, into a taxi headed to the train station, the first step of what she said was her planned trip to visit an uncle in Islamabad. Her mother said goodbye to her daughter and grandchildren — and hasn’t seen them since.
–She is the mother of three children, who also mysteriously disappeared with her in 2003, and still no one knows where they are for the last 5 years. What section of the US laws allow the government to engage in such extraordinary, unjust action? There is no graver injustice that the US government has engaged in than to rip a mother of her children. Every fair-minded human should demand that the government provide information on the whereabouts of the children, to make sure they are safe, and being raised as Muslims. Are the children being held as pawns in this game? Will the government use the children as bargaining chips in order to blackmail Dr. Aafia into self-incriminating testimony? I am not a conspiracy-theorist, never was. But until her children are produced, safe and sound, these questions are indeed completely fair and applicable.
–Who arrested her? No one knows for sure. However, there is little doubt that the FBI was involved, one way or the other, since the FBI had issued a “seeking information” on her. Since Pakistan is still a relatively sovereign nation (though this can be fairly debated), FBI probably worked with Pakistan’s security agencies to nab her. Like many cases of extraordinary renditions (illegal by all international laws) and “torture-for-hire” that the US government has engaged in, it is also likely that Dr. Aafia was kept in Pakistan and/or Afghanistan in order to allow a free-hand for all sorts of torture techniques that would make look water-boarding look meek!
–On July 17 of this year, she was allegedly “discovered” and detained by Afghan police in an encounter that involved a gunfight with American soldiers (oddly, despite the accusation that she was wielding a high-tech weapon, she was the only one who ended up severely wounded!). Her attorney ridicules this assertion in this press conference.
You saw this woman, she is less than 100 lbs…
The emperor (USA) doesn’t have any clothes…
Picture this woman who is very tiny, and ask yourself how she engaged in armed conflict…with six military men, how did that happen? And how did she get shot? I think you can answer that, can’t you?
–Dr. Aafia’s medical condition is woeful. Who will answer for the wounds that she received, and even if somehow the wounds are justified as part of some imaginary “firefight”, then who will answer for her bungled medical treatment? Is this the America that we want to project? A nation that treats its prisoners like animals or worse? Here is a list of her miserable medical condition that has been reported on various channels (such as this one article), though this information still needs further medical confirmation (only Allah knows what else she suffered, physically and psychologically):
- one of her kidneys had been removed while in captivity;
- her teeth had been removed;
- her nose had been broken, and improperly reset;
that her recent gun-shot wound had been incompetently dressed, was oozing blood, leaving her clothes soaked with blood
And shame on the government prosecution for trying to prevent her from seen by a doctor. Christopher LaVigne, one of the Prosecutors, justified withholding medical care because she was a “high-security risk”. High-risk?? What was the prosecution so afraid of? That a frail, wheel-chair ridden, small woman would get away from their agents? Are these agents men or little children that Dr. Aafia will be able to overpower? Fortunately, the prosecution was ordered to make sure she was seen by a doctor within 24 hours by Judge Robert Pitman.
–There have been claims of rape by Dr. Siddiqui’s family. Some of it seems to be corroborated by other prisoners at Gauntanomo, such as Moazzam Baig.
Moazzam Begg, ex-Guantanamo detainee, who was also held at Bagram airbase for approximately a year and then transferred to Guantanamo, wrote in his book “Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey To Guantanamo and Back” about woman screams and how he first imagined they could be from his wife. It was later confirmed that the screams were of a woman who was held at Bagram base for some years. More precisely referred to as prisoner number 650 or the “Grey Lady of Bagram
What’s true? What’s not? What really happened to Dr. Aafia Siddiqui? Only Allah knows, though based on the history of our government’s prosecution against Muslims, I am much more inclined to believe Dr. Siddiqui’s side.
People have been asking us to comment on the case, on the outrage of it all. The oppression, the injustice, the lies and the torture… and yet, at this point, I wonder – what CAN we say, besides the obvious? That we know already what kind of people are involved in the governments and intelligence agencies? That the Muslim Ummah is being oppressed every day, that our people are being tortured, that things are happening which we have no control over? That we cannot trust what we see or hear or read, because most of it is being spoon-fed to us while we are oblivious to our own blindness?
But at the same time, we cannot give up hope. We cannot remain quiet. Silence is the first step towards comprehensive defeat. We must speak for the weak. We must stand up for the truth. We must not, and cannot forget the innocent Muslim victims of the worldwide misconduct in the bogus “war against terror.”
For sure, there is blame to go around. For sure, we cannot remove responsibility from the terrorists among us, who have hijacked Islam in the name of their perverted ideology (such as Al-Qaeda and all other terrorist cells that target innocent civilians). But two wrongs never make a right. If our government speaks of justice and human rights, then it needs to SHOW us that those rights apply to everyone, INCLUDING Muslims. If this is not a war against Islam, as our government repeatedly reminds us, then we need to stop taking Muslim civilians as combatants.
So, can we do anything? Yes. Each one of us can do our little part. We can write or cross-post stories/posts about Dr. Aafia on our individual blogs (so that the search engines pick up “our” side of the story, and not Michelle Malkin’s lies!). We can e-mail others about it.
Another effective means is with a letter to the editor. There is little chance of success with major nationwide newspapers, but local papers always provide a golden opportunity for publishing your viewpoint. Remember these tips when writing a letter to the editor:
- Make it relevant, and mention why it is important for the paper to publish your letter.
- Make it timely. This story is not dated yet. But it may in a month or so. So write today!
- Address the editors. Write as if you’re talking to the editor of the newspaper.
- Stay on point. One topic per letter is best. And do not feel that you have to cover all aspects of that in a few short sentences. Rather, concentrate on a few powerful points.
- Keep it short. There is a rough limit of 250 words for letters. Letters that can make their point in 100 words or less have a better- than-average chance of getting printed. Longer letters are less likely to be published and, if selected, will almost definitely be edited. Don’t let the letters editor remove or dilute your most important points.
- Use factual information and refer to source.
- Of course, don’t forget to put your name, telephone and whatever other requirements for the specific newspaper.
Finally, you can always make dua’ (but don’t stop at it). If indeed, as we believe, that Dr. Aafia is an innocent victim in a much bigger game, then may Allah release her and reunite her with her family soon inshallah. And help all other innocent Muslim prisoners.
- Join “Dr. Afia Siddiqui – Prisoner 650” & “Release Dr. Aafia” on Facebook
- Sign petition online “Appeal for the Release of Dr. Afia Siddiqui & Her 3 Children”
- Various resources at CagePrisoners.com
- The Aafia Siddiqui I saw by Abu Sabaya (on MM) [MM will be publishing this tomorrow]
- Hoover, the FBI, and Aafia Siddiqui (Yvonne Ridley)
- Who’s Afraid of Aafia Siddiqui? (Boston Magazine)
- Attorney Press-Conference on YouTube
- On Christian Science Monitor
- Cage Prisoners Alert
- BBC News Report
- Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: A ‘Missing Person’ With A Name (On “Pakistaniat” Blog)
- On NPR
- On FreeDetainees.org