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UPDATE! Aafia Siddiqui Court POSTPONED to Thursday & Cageprisoner Dinner on Sunday


For those in the area, please be sure to attend Dr. Aafia’s court hearing tomorrow. See this link for more details. You can also send a message for Dr. Aafia by adding a comment here.


Protest :
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
9:30am – 11:00am

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Magistrates Court, 5th Floor,
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
500 Pearl Street
Manhattan, NY

If you cannot go, please make lots of dua’ for the sister and her family. May Allah make this Ramadan a time for her release.


For those of you in the UK, please support cageprisoner’s work by attending their fund-raiser, joining many ex-detainees, including Imam Anwar Awlaki, Moazzam Baig, and other Muslim leaders. Even if you are not in the UK, you can always send them a donation in recognition for the work they are doing for the entire Ummah. The article below, sent by Sr. Maryam Hassan, provides more info:

Book your seat now for Another Ramadan 2008 online here
Time: Sunday, 7th September 2008, 6pm
Location: Wandsworth Civic Suite, The Town Hall, Wandsworth, London.
With contributions from Imam Anwar Al Awlaki, Moazzam Begg, Yvonne Ridley, Lord Nazir Ahmed, Moussa Zemmouri and Hassen Rasool.

“Fifty Quid for Dinner!!!”

“Fifty Quid for Dinner?!!!” the brother almost screamed at me.

I realised the problem – he had scanned the leaflet and mentally totted up the list of speakers, the venue, the three course meal against half a dozen other Muslim entertainment events in his mind – a mixed bunch of Nasheed concerts, Halal Comedy nights, I-Soc dinners and Eid celebrations and felt that he was being short changed.

The problem was he was comparing apples with oranges and just didn’t know. He looked at the names on the flyers and didn’t recognise half of them.

He had failed to comprehend that this was not just another event – it was something quite unique.

Who is Cageprisoners?

Cageprisoners is a small human rights organisation dedicated to working for Muslim Prisoners caught up in the ‘War on Terror.’

Our raison d’etre is the prisoners – and we have been working tirelessly for them since the photos of prisoners arriving in Guantanamo in orange jumpsuits were imprinted in our minds in 2003.

It is far from easy to think of individuals in 2008 who would have the courage and commitment to make their focus of concern the circumstances of detained Muslims in Britain and beyond.

The work done by the small collective that consititutes ‘Cageprisoners’ is quite remarkable; there is not an individual whose plight that escapes their notice; where little is known, Cageprisoners conducts its own research, takes statements, conducts interviews, generates debate and consistently produces a flow of reliable information that is otherwise unobtainable.

The world inhabited by prisoners is intended by their jailers to be secret and silent; Cageprisoners gives a voice to the voiceless, and refuses to allow those who are not detained, the complacency of ignorance.

Their work is achieved on a shoestring, and yet matches and surpasses that of many organisations by comparison massively resourced organisations which barely scratch the surface of the same area.

The Cageprisoners website is or should be required reading for the public at large, writers, broadcasters, academics, lawyers and politicians and all who believe that it is their duty to be properly informed.

Gareth Peirce, August 13th 2008

Ticket price is Sadaqah in Ramadan

This is a fundraising dinner. This means that every penny raised goes straight back to helping the prisoners. Our sponsors have helped us to keep costs to a bare minimum so we can maximise the money we raise (don’t worry – the food at the iftar will not disappoint insha’Allah.)

What does this mean to you – the £50 ticket is Sadaqah, pure and simple. You will be giving the sadaqah in Ramadan, the recipients of the sadaqa are working to free and help the oppressed.

The Prophet, SAW, was asked, ‘Which type of charity is best?’ He responded, ‘Charity done during Ramadan.’ ” [1]

Dua of the Oppressed

Now let us talk about the prisoners, both the released and soon to be released (insha’Allah.)

We all know that ‘If Allah loves a people, He tests them.’ [2]

Can anyone claim that our brothers have not been tested? Isolated from their families, caged like animals in the searing tropical heat, forcefully shaven and stripped naked, humiliated by their oppressors.

So can you imagine their rank in front of Allah? These are people who Allah has declared those whom He loves, these are a people Allah has singled out to purify from their sins like fire purifies steel.

“…that He may make them taste a bit of that which they have done, in order that they may return.” [3]

These are a people who have faced almost seven years isolated from the outside world.

People who have learnt a lesson you cannot learn on a weekend seminar or from a book. They have had every hope and assistance stripped away from them until they tasted the sweetness of abandoning all reliance on anything other that Allah

If these are Allah’s beloved – wouldn’t you want them making dua for you? What would you give for it – money alone?

Can you imagine that they are standing in Qiyam, in the last third of the night, in the last ten days of Ramadan in their metal cages weeping and begging their Lord for deliverance?

“… And be afraid of the duaa of an oppressed person because there is no veil between him and Allah.” [4]

Imagine no veil between them and Allah, a direct line unsullied by sins or haram!

Do you not think that they are asking Allah for forgiveness for those who help them?

Do you not think that they are asking Allah to shower His mercy upon those who help them?

How can you not want to be counted amongst their helpers and those for whom they are making dua for?

What would you give for that opportunity?

Largest gathering of ex-detainees in Europe

Now let us get back to the dinner itself. The dinner will have the largest gathering of ex-Guantanamo detainees from all around Europe to date.

You will be able to meet those that Allah has tested and you will see that they are flesh and bone just like you or I.

Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.

And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test).[5]

If a speaker can inspire you, how about a room of people whom Allah has tested, and have remained steadfast?

You will be listening to the likes of Moazzam Begg and Imam Anwar Al Awlaki, in his first live public address since his release from prison, less than a year ago. You will have the opportunity to take away with you the letters that they wrote in Guantanamo, previously unseen sketches conceived in the cages of Camp Delta, bid for books and DVDs signed by these inspirational brothers.

If seeing these brothers and meeting them does not fill your heart with ambition and jealousy at the favour Allah has bestowed upon them with the rank He has given them – I wonder what else will?


People flit from mosque to mosque, searching for the Qari with the most melodious recitation, the one who will soften their dead hearts so they will be moved to tears.

Imagine this then: let us go back to the cages in Camp Delta, Guantanamo.

It is Ramadan, two hours before Fajr, the last third of the night. Each prisoner is standing in his cell – one of his two thin white towels laid flat, facing the Qibla. His beard has started to return after the Americans forcefully shaved him on his arrival.

A row of men identically dressed in their orange jumpsuits, the straightness of their line interrupted by the walls of their cages – praying Taraweeh in unison.

Our Imam for Taraweeh is Hafidh Moussa Zemmouri, a man detained in Cuba for 3 years on the accusation that he wore a Casio wristwatch known to be popular amongst ‘terrorists.’ Imagine being held for three years of your life on such a ludicrous accusation!

Our rows will (Insha’Allah) be filled with ex-detainees united again for Taraweeh, an event that last occurred thousands of miles away in Guantanamo, a different existence to our own – except this time YOU get to join their taraweeh, and join your feet to theirs.

“Fifty pounds for dinner!!,”
he exclaimed to me. I regret now, I should have said to him, “No, brother –the fifty pounds is sadaqah – the food is incidental, it will grant you admission (bi’dhnillah) to benefits that you have not yet realised, and which, if you knew you had missed, you would regret for years to come.”

“A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor forsakes him. If anyone fulfils his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfil his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [6]

“Feed the hungry, visit the sick, and free the prisoner!

1. Bukhari, #1863, and Muslim, #3028
2. Hasan, at-Tirmidhi (4/2396). ‘Sahih al-Jami” (275).
3. Surah ar-Rum; 41
4. Sahih Bukhari: Volume 2, Book 24, Number 573.
5. Surah Al Ankabut 29:2-3
6. Bukhari and Muslim.

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Abu Reem is one of the founders of MuslimMatters, Inc. His identity is shaped by his religion (Islam), place of birth (Pakistan), and nationality (American). By education, he is a ChemE, topped off with an MBA from Wharton. He has been involved with Texas Dawah, Clear Lake Islamic Center and MSA. His interests include politics, cricket, and media interactions. Career-wise, Abu Reem is in management in the oil & gas industry (but one who still appreciates the "green revolution").



  1. Abu Sabaya

    September 2, 2008 at 5:38 PM

    Just an update from Aafia’s lawyer: Wednesday’s court hearing has been postponed to the following day (Thursday) at 11:30 am.

  2. Bint Bashir

    September 2, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    Truly an event not to be missed…

  3. Bint Bashir

    September 2, 2008 at 5:46 PM


    This information can be found here:
    Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Press Conference Notes & Writing to Dr. Aafia, and Sending Money. Online messages for Dr. Aafia will be sent to her inshallah

    2. Send a message of support to Aafia’s family.
    Please email your letters to

    3. Sign the Online Petition

    4. Download and print copies of the petition here.

    Please return all signed petitions to: Cageprisoners, 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3XX

    5. Attend protest actions and events for Aafia Siddiqui and her children. Organise an event in your community.

    Click here for details of the NYC Protest – 3rd September

    Click here for details of the London Protest – 12th September

    6. Donate
    See link above

    7. Write to the US authorities:

    * Demand that the state department fulfils their consular duties and provide assistance to Ahmed, the son of Aafia Siddiqui, and also locate her other children; all of whom are US citizens.
    * Demand that Aafia Siddiqui’s children, including her eldest son Ahmad who is Afghan custody, must be immediately placed in the custody of her relatives.
    * Demand that Aafia Siddiqui be given full and complete access to her lawyer without any impediments.
    * That she be given medical treatment and aid during her detention to not put any further pressure on her injuries and to help her recovery.
    * That she be transferred from prison to Bellevue Hospital.
    * That the unnecessary cavity and strip searches should be stopped by her US jailers due to her current medical condition.
    * Call for human rights laws and standards to be strictly adhered to in cooperation between US security forces and those of other countries, ensuring that torture and ill-treatment, incommunicado detentions and “disappearance” play no part in such cooperation.

    The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
    Secretary of State
    U.S. Department of State
    2201 C Street, N.W.
    Washington DC 20520
    Tel: + 1 202 647 4000
    Fax: + 1 202 261 8577

    For a sample letter see

    8. Write to the Pakistani authorities:

    * Demand the immediate repatriation of Aafia Siddiqui back to Pakistani from where she was kidnapped.
    * Demand that her children be immediately placed in the custody of her relatives.
    * Demand that the best medical treatment be afforded her.
    * Demand a full investigation into her disappearance.

    His Excellency Ambassador Husain Haqqani
    Pakistani Ambassador to the US
    3517 International Court NW
    Washington DC 20008
    Tel: + 1 202 243 6500

    Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Tel: + 92 51 921 0335
    Fax: + 92 51 920 7600

    For a sample letter see

    9. Download and distribute the following campaign materials to raise awareness for the plight of Aafia Siddiqui and her children.

    To get involved in the campaign for justice for Aafia Siddiqui please email

    -Edited to shorten message due to duplication of information. Jak for the message.

  4. Maryam Hassan

    September 2, 2008 at 6:34 PM

    JazaakAllahu khaira – please can you correct the posting as the dinner is SUNDAY 7th September (not Friday – my fault!)
    Wassalaamu ‘alaykum

  5. Maryam Hassan

    September 2, 2008 at 6:38 PM

    Also one of Aafia’s lawyers just told me that the venue is probably the courtroom of United States District Judge Richard Berman (21D) (same court, same address).

    Wassalaamu ‘alaykum

  6. Amad

    September 2, 2008 at 7:08 PM

    please can you correct the posting as the dinner is SUNDAY 7th September (not Friday – my fault!)


  7. Amad

    September 3, 2008 at 9:46 AM

    United States of America versus Aafia Siddiqui

    Thursday September 4, 2008 11:30am.
    Arraignment Hearing, where Dr. Aafia has the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty
    United States District Judge Richard Berman (21D), It will be at the Federal Courthouse for the Southern District of New York at 500 Pearl Street.

  8. Amad

    September 3, 2008 at 2:58 PM

    Are any of MM readers going?? We are looking for folks to blog about the happenings, because many of us cannot go and would like to be in the know.

  9. Hidaya

    September 4, 2008 at 2:54 PM

    I went to the hearing, however i got there late and court was full so i was directed to a room which had live coverage of court room. Alhamdulillah that room was packed as well…Afiya Siddiqui wasnt there..THE volume was really low so i couldnt hear everything (maybe cuz i was all the way in the back of the room)…

    After the hearing was over, this journalist approached us (a group of sisters) and said if she can interview us regarding Siddiqui’ we were like we know about her case as much as you do, so basically we took her card and refused to do interview.

  10. sisterindeen

    September 4, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Aafia Siddique arraignment hearing postponed to Sept 22 PDF Print E-mail

    NEW YORK, Sept 4 (APP): The arraignment hearing of Dr Aafia Siddiqui on charges of attempted attack on US officials in Afghanistan was postponed to September 22 on Thursday as the US-educated scientist did not appear before a district court.

    Judge Richard Berman postponed the hearing after discussions in the court with prosecution and defense lawyers of Aafia Sidddiqui. Outside the court, a group of Pakistani Americans demonstrated urging justice for Aafia Siddiqui.

    Defense lawyer Elizabeth Fink informed the court that Ms Siddiqui did not want to go through humiliating strip searches before each visitation. She added, Ms Siddiqui’s competency to appear before the court has been affected psychologically as she has been traumatized since her disappearance from Pakistan in 2003. Her mental health has been compounded by her anxiety about her three children.

    Fink argued that Ms Siddiqui should be taken out of Brooklyn detention center to a hospital for proper treatment as she is suffering from bullet wounds. Fink complained she has not received proper medical treatment.

    Prosecution informed the court that Dr Siddiqui has been receiving medical treatment from time to time and a female doctor is also being arranged for her.

    The prosecution repeated charges against Aafia Siddiqui. The judge asked the defense consul and the prosecution to discuss Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s competency issue in terms of her appearance before the court as well as the place for her medical treatment.

    Judge Berman opined that it would be advantageous for Ms Siddiqui to appear before the court and suggested she could also appear through video from the detention center.

  11. UmmOsman

    September 5, 2008 at 10:18 AM

    Assalamo elikuim
    from Washington post
    “According to documents described in court by Fink, Siddiqui told prison staff that she feared her son was being starved and tortured, and asked them to take food off her tray and send it to her son in Afghanistan.

    So its not enough that they have tortured her for five years, they want to torture her kids too.
    May Allah swt bring justice to Sr.Aafia, may she be united with her family soon, Ameen.

    Jazak Allah khair for the update on her case.


  12. Bint Bashir

    September 6, 2008 at 5:15 PM

    Any of you interested in going to the dinner on Sunday they have literally a few seats remaining…Alhumdulilah…………

  13. Pingback: Open Thread 9-7-08: MM Ramadan Recap |

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