Connect with us

#Current Affairs

The Guards Who Became Muslim After Guantanamo

Published

The guards who became Muslim after Guantanamo

Guantanamo is known as a place of abuse and torture. However, it also became a place of faith and solidarity amongst prisoners. Several guards were inspired by the spiritual strength of the men they kept, and eventually embraced Islam at their hands. Watch as Moazzam Begg shares some stories of these guards who became our brothers and sisters in faith.

[As part of the MuslimMatters x CAGE Dhul Hijjah Activism Drive: Close Guantanamo, we bring you a series, Guantanamo Memories, of stories from behind bars]

Facebook Cover

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

A few days ago, Mohamedou Ould Slahi posted a picture on twitter from the Mauritanian desert. I last saw Mohamedou in Bagram prison, Afghanistan.

The picture had this caption: “My former guard and I breaking fast. Alhamdulillah! #Ramadan”

Mohamedou was a prisoner in Guantanamo for 14 years. Steve was a guard there. Yet today, the
two are sharing food and taking selfies.

It turned out that Steve had become a Muslim.

Steve is not the only one…

Some years ago, I logged onto Facebook and received a message. A sister asked me if I had been in Guantanamo. When I replied I had, she said she had been there too!

I knew there were no female prisoners in Guantanamo, so she must have been a guard. She had been.

After telling me how watching the prisoners in Guantanamo had planted the seed of Islam in her heart, she said: “You can inform the brothers that their strength has inspired me to accept Islam.” She wanted all the prisoners to know this.

When I tell this story to former Guantanamo prisoners around the world, they smile – and cry at the
same time.

I’ve invited several other guards to my house. We even did a joint tour with former Guantanamo prisoners and former guards who had seen the injustice of Guantanamo.

One of them is Terry, now Mustafa.

We met in Dubai with Professor Philip Zimbardo (centre), who had conducted the famous “Stamford
experiment”; where students had taken up roles of prisoners and guards to learn the shocking effects
of unchecked power.

In Guantanamo, Terry would look at the brothers and wonder: “Why are they happy and able to wake up each day here and smile, and I can’t?”

While other guards were told to hate the detainees and show them no sympathy, Terry was not like
that.

He wasn’t the guy making fun of prayer. He was the one asking what prayer was about.

Finally, Terry took his shahada on Sierra block, helped by Ahmed Errachidi, a Moroccan detainee.

Mustafa came to speak at the CAGE iftar in 2009. His thoughts were deep: “Being a guard at Guantanamo is one of the most shameful things I did in my life (…). I’m happy I was the one guard who decided to be nice and compassionate, to be sympathetic and to learn instead of turning a blind eye. If anything, I certainly gained the most… I found Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).”

Justice and compassion, these are exactly the values CAGE and I stand for. When we show these values to the world, many of those with good hearts find them turning to Islam.

 

Don’t forget to join MuslimMatters and CAGE this month as we work to Close Guantanamo. Check out how you can act today

 

Reading reading:

 – Dhul Hijjah Global Activism Drive: Close Guantanamo

Dhul Hijjah Global Activism Drive: Close Guantanamo

My Hardest Ramadan Ever

My Hardest Ramadan Ever

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

CAGE advocates for due process, the rule of law and an end to the injustices of the War on Terror. CAGE is an independent grassroots organisation striving for a world free of injustice and oppression. We campaign against discriminatory state policies and advocate for due process and the rule of law. We work closely with survivors of abuse and mistreatment across the globe, documenting their abuse and enabling them to take action and access due process. We carry out cutting edge research and provide a voice for survivors of the war on terror, challenging the dominant narrative of suspect communities and the perceived threat of terrorism. We empower communities through educational workshops, community events and informative seminars.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Wael Abdelgawad

    July 21, 2022 at 3:58 PM

    This is beautiful. It’s amazing how Allah brings truth out of falsehood, and liberation out of oppression. SubhanAllahl.

  2. Fajr Dua

    July 30, 2022 at 2:28 AM

    wow what a great video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Trending