The Call to Action for Aafia: Why it is Needed Now More than Ever

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui now in her 15th year of brutal imprisonment. Rallies will be held in Washington DC and in New York to protest this distinguished Muslim woman’s wrongful imprisonment and torture.

By El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan


On a recent trip back from the UK I had a chance encounter with a British Muslim, a taxi driver, whose job it was to pick me up from the hotel and take me to the airport for my return flight home. During the commute we ended up getting into an animated conversation about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Imran Khan. I received a deeper appreciation of how much of a litmus test Aafia has become for Muslims around the world.

It wasn’t just the conversation about Aafia that impressed me, however; it was the heightened expectations of what an Imran Khan-led government could mean for Pakistan, should his party win the election (which is now a done deal). Like many Pakistanis I’ve met throughout the US and abroad –especially young Pakistanis– the expectations for [now] Prime Minister Imran Khan were high.

The new prime minister has been broadly viewed as a straightforward and uncorrupt leader, with his own money and a more spiritually-based orientation; as someone who can be counted upon to keep his word, and also as someone who has called for the repatriation of the “Daughter of the Nation”: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. [One of the reasons we have chosen the Pakistan Embassy in Washington as a rally site]

Aafia Siddiqui is now in her 15th year of brutal imprisonment. During the first five years (beginning in March 2003) she was secretly held in a myriad of black holes overseas, for suspicion of being affiliated with Al-Qaeda. In late 2008, barely clinging to life, she was brought to the US from Afghanistan –where she had been a prisoner at the Bagram Detention Center – and charged with the attempted murder of US military and intelligence personnel that same year. [Charges meant to cover-up what was actually done to her and her children!]

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Aafia is currently being held in an institution in Fort Worth, Texas, which has a notorious history of abuse of female prisoners (FMC Carswell), under an 86 year sentence. Consequently, this political prisoner’s supporters around the world feel as if they are in a race against time. It is for this reason that two important rallies have been planned for September in Washington, DC, and October in New York City.

This coming Friday, September 28th, assembly time 3 PM (starting time 3:30), a rally will be held in front of the Pakistan Embassy – located at 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008. [That this rally is being held at the embassy in the same week that international leaders and delegates are in the US from around the world for the annual UN Conference, affords added significance]

A second rally has been planned for Friday, October 26, at the United Nations in New York City to mark the 15th year of this distinguished Muslim woman’s wrongful imprisonment and torture.

Sheikh Ibn Taymeeyah shared a powerful truth many generations ago:

“Civilization is based on justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating. Therefore, it is said ALLAH subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) aids the just state, even if it is non-Muslim; and withholds His help from the oppressive state, even if it is Muslim.”


Thomas Jefferson, generations later, would echo the same essential message (on the cost and effects of state sponsored oppression) in the following words:

“I tremble for my country when I reflect, God is just. His justice cannot sleep forever.”

When one reflects upon the tragic state that this world of ours is in today –in an age of “scientific and technological enlightenment”– one is forced to concede that something is terribly wrong with the trajectory modern “civilization” is on. Many believe that the imprisonment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui symbolizes one of the litmus tests of our time. Please join us in the struggle for her freedom…and ours.



El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan serves as Director of Operations for The Aafia Foundation, Inc.; a DMV based Muslim-led human rights organization.

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One response to “The Call to Action for Aafia: Why it is Needed Now More than Ever”

  1. Alkalaam says:

    Asalam a laikum wrwb,
    Nostalgia, Fear, Power …What would you associate the criminals of Afia to be?

    Alaisa Allahu bi Ahkamil hakeemeen?
    Is not Allah the best of all judges?

    Afias youthful energy, passion and enthusiasm never failed to amaze me. She was an electrically charged dynamo with a forceful magnetism. There was a certain aura around this extremely gifted individual.

    History tells us, Firon killed many male infants, only due to the fear that one among these many children would grow up to be instrumental in pulling down his kingdom, in killing him.
    He plotted but Allah had his own plans.

    Through Afia, many budding Afia’s we snipped in the bud through FEAR factor.

    But rightly said by their own men ““I tremble for my country when I reflect, God is just. His justice cannot sleep forever.”

    JUSTICE will prevail, it must prevail, this is the law of CREATOR.
    It’s time, almost time when the tides will rise and turn.
    I end saying “The world is a prison for a practicing Muslim”.

    May Allah arisen within us the spirit of brotherhood, may we rise from the deep slumber we are in, may the fear of ALLAH overtake all other fears in our hearts, may we follow the foot steps of our beloved prophet, sahaba, tabiyeen and
    tab -e -tabbiyeen.

    My heart aches and desires a peaceful life for my sister Afia.

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