Caliphate, Foreign Policy

Who will free Dr Aafia Siddiqui?

In March 2009 two female US Journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling were seized by North Korean border guards while reporting for California-based Current TV. They were subsequently tried and sentenced to 12 years in prison for “hostile acts” and illegal entry into North Korea. After their imprisonment America worked tirelessly to get the women released and in August 2009 dispatched former US President Bill Clinton to speak with North Korea’s Kim Jong Il. The meeting was productive and the two women were later released.

In March 2003 a women was also seized and imprisoned. Her name was Aafia Siddiqui. Like the US Journalists she was a women, she studied and worked in America and her three children were American citizens. But unlike the US Journalists captured six years later she was a Muslim and she had no leader to take care of her affairs.

This is her story.

Dr Aafia Siddiqui was born in Karachi, Pakistan, on March 2, 1972. She was one of three children of Mohammad Siddiqui, a doctor trained in England, and Ismet. She is a mother of three and also a Hafiz-e-Quraan. Aafia and her three children were seized by Pakistani intelligence agents in March 2003 and handed over to the Americans in Afghanistan where she was imprisoned in Bagram and repeatedly raped, tortured and abused for years. A report in the Pakistani Urdu press at the time said that Aafia and her three children were seen being picked up by Pakistani authorities and taken into custody.

Moazzam Begg, and several other former captives of the Americans reported that a female prisoner, “prisoner 650”, was held at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. Yvonne Ridley of wrote about “Prisoner 650” (Aafia) her ordeal of torture and repeatedly being raped for over four years.

“The cries of (this) helpless woman echoed (with such torment) in the jail that (it) prompted prisoners to go on hunger strike.” Yvonne called her a “gray lady (because) she (was) almost a ghost, a spectre whose cries and screams continue to haunt those who heard her. This would never happen to a Western woman.”

Both the Pakistan government as well as US officials in Washington denied any knowledge of Aafia’s imprisonment until her plight was brought out in to the open and started to receive media attention. Trumped up allegations were then brought against her that she was involved in terrorism and a ludicrous claim that she managed to wrestle a gun off a US soldier and shoot at US officers.

On 4th August 2008, federal prosecutors in the US confirmed that Aafia Siddiqui was extradited to the US from Afghanistan where they allege she had been detained since mid-July 2008. The US administration claimed that she was arrested by Afghani forces outside Ghazni governor’s compound with manuals on explosives and ‘dangerous substances in sealed jars’ on her person. They further allege that whilst in custody she shot at US officers (none being injured) and was herself injured in the process.

On 7th August 2008 an article in the The News exposed some of the treatment Aafia had been subjected to whilst in American custody.

  • one of her kidneys had been removed
  • her teeth had been removed
  • her nose had been broken, and improperly reset
  • her recent gunshot wound had been incompetently dressed, was oozing blood, leaving her clothes soaked with blood.

An August 11, 2008, a Reuters report stated that she had appeared at her court hearing in a wheelchair, and that her lawyers pleaded with the judge to make sure she received medical care. Elizabeth Fink, one of her lawyers, told the Judge:

“She has been here, judge, for one week and she has not seen a doctor, even though they (U.S. authorities) know she has been shot.”

Aafia’s Lawyer Elizabeth Fink told a federal judge in New York that Aafia shows signs of having been imprisoned and treated inhumanely for a long period of time. According to documents described in court by Fink, Aafia 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.

Another of her lawyers, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, “We do know she was at Bagram for a long time. It was a long time. According to my client she was there for years and she was held in American custody; her treatment was horrendous.”

Aafia remains in a US detention facility in New York, in poor health, subjected to degrading and humiliating strip searches and cavity searches whenever she receives a legal visit or appears in court. She has subsequently refused to meet with counsel. It has been reported that she may suffer from brain damage and that a part of her intestine may have been removed. Her lawyers say her symptoms are consistent with a sufferer of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The trial of Aafia Siddiqui will start this week.

In the absence of the Caliphate she along with every other Muslim in the world is effectively stateless and as prophesised by the Messenger ﷺ we are like froth and scum that is carried down by a torrent of water.

“The People will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their food.” Someone asked, “Will that be because of our small numbers at that time?” He ﷺ replied, “No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be froth and scum like that carried down by a torrent (of water), and Allah will take the fear of you from the breasts (hearts) of your enemy and cast al-wahn into your hearts.” Someone asked, “O Messenger of Allah, what is al-wahn?” He ﷺ replied, “Love of the world and dislike of death.” [Abu Dawud and Ahmad]

It’s wahn that led the Pakistani authorities to kidnap and handover a Muslim women to the Americans even though the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim, so he should not oppress him, nor should he hand him over to an oppressor.” [Bukhari]

It’s wahn that prevented any ruler in the Muslim world lifting a finger to help protect the honour of a Muslim women and free not just Aafia but the thousands of Muslims incarcerated in Guantanamo, Bagram, and secret CIA detention centres even though the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Indeed it is obligatory upon the Muslims to free their captives or to pay their ransoms.”

It’s wahn that leads the rulers in the Muslim world to imprison, torture and abuse hundreds of thousands of sincere Muslims in their dungeons even though Hisham bin Hakeem said; “I bear witness that I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say; ‘Allah will punish those who punish the people in the Dunya.'” [Muslim]

We must remember that we were not always stateless. When the Islamic State existed in the past the honour of Muslim women was protected and the Muslim prisoners were freed.

During the time of the Prophet ﷺ a Jewish goldsmith of Banu Qaynuqa abused the honour of a Muslim woman by tying the edge of her garment causing her private parts to become uncovered. A Muslim man happened to be there and killed the man. The Jews then retaliated by killing that Muslim. The man’s family called the Muslims for help and the Prophet ﷺ sent an army against them and after a 15-day siege expelled the entire tribe from Madinah.

Imam ibn Athir records in ‘Kamil’ the famous story of a Muslim woman who was captured by the Romans and held in a place named ‘Amuriyyah. Not content with only capturing her they tried to dishonour her as well. Frightened and alone she called out the name of the Caliph, “[Ya Mu’tasim] Oh Mu’tasim.” A man witnessed this incident and rushed to the Caliph informing him of what had happened. When he heard the plight of this woman he responded bravely, “Labbaik [I am here at your call].” He prepared a large army and set off for battle and to rescue the woman. Mu’tasim’s army conquered the enemy and entered ‘Amuriyyah. After destroying the enemy stronghold, they came to the woman and freed her.

Caliph Umar bin Abdul-Aziz sent a letter to the Muslim POWs in Constantinople. He told them:

“You consider yourselves to be POWS. You are not. You are locked in the cause of Allah. I would like you to know that whenever I give something to the Muslims I give more to your families and I am sending so and so with 5 dinars for each one of you and if it wasn’t that I fear the Roman dictator would take it from you I would have sent more. I have also sent so-and-so to secure the release of every single one of you regardless of what the cost would be. So rejoice! Assalamu Alaykum.”

Oh America and its allies!

Today you murder our men, women and children, torture and imprison us and steal our resources. But you must realise this is only a temporary situation. The Islamic revival is gathering pace and the wahn is slowly melting away through the interaction with the strong Islamic thoughts. You know this which is why you launched the war on terror and why you spend $billions occupying our lands.

When the victory of Allah (Most High) arrives and the Muslim lands unite under one Caliph, be under no illusion that the Caliphate will utilise all its political, economic and military might to free the Muslim prisoners and protect the honour of our women.