By EI-Hajj Mauri Salakhan
Special to The Muslim Street
“Civilization is based on justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating. Therefore, it is said ALLAH aids the just state, even if it is non-Muslim; and withholds His help from the oppressive state, even if it is Muslim. -”Sheikh Ibn Taymiyyah
This year (2018) marks the 15th year of imprisonment and torture for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national who (along with her children) was kidnapped from the streets of her home city Karachi, Pakistan, just months after returning home from 12 years of fruitful study in the United States.
Aafia Siddiqui is a graduate, with honors, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Brandeis University. Among other awards she has a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. Aafia was known for her dawah while a student at all three universities she attended in the US (her freshman year was spent at the University of Houston). She was also known and respected for her volunteer humanitarian relief work during the Bosnian crisis.
Unquestionably, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is one of the most distinguished alumni in the history of the Muslim Students Association of America…and sad to say, one of the most shamefully neglected!
While at the time of her abduction Aafia Siddiqui was a far more developed Malala Yusafzai, unlike Malala, this symbolically crowned “Daughter of the Nation” was not rescued by a benevolent western state and feted with accolades for her principled resistance. She and her family have instead been trapped in a living nightmare, encased in an oppressive cover-up, for the past 16 years and counting – by the nation state that projects itself around the world as “The land of liberty and justice for all.”
On Friday, September 28th at 3PM, US supporters of Aafia Siddiqui will gather at the Pakistan Embassy – located at 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008 – for a very important rally. (The same week that international leaders and delegates are in America from around the world for the annual UN Conference in New York City. Most, if not all, will pay a visit to their embassies before leaving the US.)
A second rally has been planned for Friday, October 26, at the United Nations in New York City. The October mobilization will mark the 15th year of this distinguished Muslim woman’s wrongful imprisonment and torture – within the occupied space of that world-renowned international symbol of peace and diplomacy (for what real value that still holds in today’s world). It will also mark the eighth dark anniversary of the shameful trial that took place in that city in 2010; and Judge Richard Berman’s equally shameful and oppressive imposition of an 86 YEAR SENTENCE, at the conclusion of that sham trial!
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark has described the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui as “the worse case of individual injustice I have ever witnessed.” These two upcoming human rights mobilizations provide truly conscious and committed folk with another opportunity to respond accordingly!
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan serves as Director of Operations for The Aafia Foundation, Inc., a Muslim-led Metropolitan Washington, DC-based human rights organization. He can be reached via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or via twitter: @maurisaalakhan