February 21, 2016
[NOTE: I apologize for neglecting to post for a few months. The catch-up posts will be in the wrong chronological order. After that I promise to try and keep up my blog.]
March 16 marks 13 years that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has been wrongfully imprisoned. Aafia was a foreign student from Pakistan who graduated with honors from MIT and Brandeis University. She and her children were kidnapped in Pakistan and held without charge for five years in Afghan prisons under US control. According to Reuters, Siddiqui was wanted by the FBI in 2003 for questioning for possible ties to al Qaeda and was detained by Pakistani authorities. Things went terribly wrong, and rather than admit their grievous error, which included killing her baby, the US accused her of attacking a US soldier - even though she is the one who got a bullet in her stomach. Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark has described Aafia's ordeal as "the worst case of individual injustice I have ever witnessed."
The Boston Rally on International Women's Day will be the first of four mobilizations for Dr. Aafia Siddique also planned for March 2016 in NY, DC and Fort Worth, Texas. Help us spread the word and build toward these actions. Contact Br. Mauri Saalakhan at firstname.lastname@example.org for exact time and place, and to volunteer.
The issue is becoming increasingly urgent. There was an attack on Aafia's family's house in Karachi at 3am on February 16! The attempted kidnapping of Aafia's children occurred just a couple days after a February 14 huge Valentine's Day "We Love Aafia" march took place, which included many young children. Asmat Siddiqui, the mother of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, said that the attack of terrorists on the house of Dr Aafia in Karachi and the threats to the family are a message to them to keep silent on the issue of Aafia. The family is refusing to back down from their mission to bring Aafia home, despite being under threat of their lives; surely we have a deep obligation to support them!
In a statement released Tuesday, Aafia's mother said that the politicians have disappointed the nation of Pakistan on the issue of Aafia. They only did politics on her name. She appealed to the chief of army, Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, to play his role in bringing home Aafia and become immortal in history like Muhammad Bin Qasim. Briefing the media on the details of the attack on her house, Asmat Siddiqui said on the night between Monday and Tuesday at 3:00am, three unknown armed terrorists reached her house. They fed the dog some intoxicating substance and later beat up a volunteer of the Aafia Movement, Amir, who was guarding the house.
They asked Amir to tell them in which rooms the children of Aafia reside and which schools they attend. When Amir refused to reply to their questions, they told him they already knew. Then he was tortured mercilessly and fell unconscious. Between 6 and 7:00am when the occupants of the house came out, they found Amir injured and tied up with ropes.
Dr. Fowzia said police were informed about the incident. She asked which type of national security plan is this, in which the citizens are not provided any security. She said 13 years ago, on the day after the kidnapping of Aafia Siddiqui [and her children], we were also told to keep silent; otherwise, four dead bodies would be found on the back street of their house. She said this threat is being employed again "to pressure us not to raise our voices for the release of Aafia Siddiqui."
"As the Siddiqui family, frontline supporters of the Aafia Movement-Pakistan, and supporters from the US branch of the International Free Aafia Movement have already made clear, We Will Not Be Intimidated into a posture of Silence and Inaction! The struggle will continue!" writes Mauri Saalakhan, Aafia's unofficial ambassador in the US, who is organizing the upcoming mobilizations.
He is asking Muslims in the US to bombard the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, DC, with CALLS and E-MAILS. Phone: 202-243-6500 / E-mail: email@example.com
In your communication please express your concern regarding the safety of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's family in Karachi, Pakistan; and demand that the Pakistani government do more to get their citizen released and returned home where she belongs.
Who were the kidnappers? What political objective could possibly be gained by re-kidnapping Aafia's children? Most importantly - what can we do, what will we do as Americans to bring attention to our fellow Muslims and neighbors regarding the plight of this young woman, who has become the international face of the Disappeared? Her situation is not that unique. Political kidnappings are quite common throughout the world.
However, this is a girl who went to school in Massachusetts, who was known. She gave speeches during Muslim events, she was a leader in enthusiastic charity efforts and was even quoted in the news saying that if Americans learned about the beauty of Islam, they would all want to become Muslims! You can't just disappear someone like that and pretend it didn't happen. And indeed, she has become the Daughter of Pakistan. In many ways, her fate will determine the future of her nation.