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Why the May 6 Mobilization for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Must Go On!


28 April 2010

By El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace): Please share this information with others. 

Why the May 6 Mobilization for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Must Go On! 

As we near the date of a very important press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC (Thursday, April 29th), I am encouraged by the number of coalition partners who have remained united in their commitment to The May 6 Mobilization - despite the court’s decision to change the date of Dr. Siddiqui’s sentencing to July 21, 2010. (Alhamdullilah, we’ve even added about a half dozen new endorsers since the announcement was made!) 

With that said, I would like to address the concerns of those who wonder why we decided against changing the date of this very important initiative.  

The reasons are as follows: 

  1. This federal court has a two year history of changing dates in this precedent-setting case (sometimes in the 11th hour); and that’s one of the reasons why we decided (and announced), early on, that if this were to occur with Aafia’s sentencing the mobilization would still continue on May 6 as planned, insha’Allah (God willing).
  2. Concerned citizens near and far (both Muslim and non-Muslim) have been planning to support the mobilization on May 6. If we were to change the date in mid-stream, some people would be significantly inconvenienced and not everyone would receive notice of the change.  I have personally seen, on many occasions over the years, how disappointments of this nature can affect morale and future support for very important initiatives.
  3. I know for a FACT that court changes (especially in the 11th hour) - in cases that draw a significant amount of public attention and community support for the defendant in the dock - are often done to confuse and dampen support for a political prisoner like Aafia. (It is my understanding that this particular change was requested by government prosecutors in the case.)
  4. It is my long held view that activists need to stop basing so much of their activism on what the opposition does or doesn’t do; in short, we need to stop being so reactive and become more proactive with our “progressive” agenda.

Some benefits from adhering to May 6 

  1. It will demonstrate to the powers-that-be that the supporters of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui are serious and determined in their support.
  2. It will provide us with the opportunity to send a message of concern and outrage to the U.S. Government and the court. (Initially, the goal of The May 6 Mobilization was to send a message solely to the government.)
  3. It provides us with an opportunity to officially broaden the announced agenda for the mobilization to include all Muslim political prisoners.
  4. It should help to highlight and expand support for a young brother whose trial will begin one week before The May 6 Mobilization (at the same courthouse where Aafia was tried). The brother’s name is Fahad Hashmi. He’s been under a very oppressive pre-trial detention regime for the past three years…while waiting to go on trial!
  5. It will provide supporters of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui with an opportunity to mount a second major mobilization on her behalf on July 21 (the new sentencing date), insha’Allah.
  6. If the mobilization comes off as planned, it will provide Muslims in America (and concerned citizens within the community-at-large) with a much needed morale boost for the struggle ahead!

There you have it. These are the reasons why we’ve decided to go forward with The May 6 Mobilization in support and defense of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (and all other Muslim political prisoners in America), as planned.  

Before concluding I should emphasize the importance of the upcoming press conference, scheduled for Thursday, April 29, at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, DC.  We expect to have some very accomplished and committed speakers at this conference. On the agenda will be the very important “Preemptive Prosecution Resolution” that was recently passed by the Common Council of Albany, NY. 

I should also point out, for our readers and supporters in Tri-State New York, that the last jumah I will address before The May 6 Mobilization will be at the ICNA Center in Jamaica, New York, on Friday, April 30th (insha’Allah).  

To all of the masajid and centers who have opened their doors to us over the past few months in support of this cause: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 

Now that the sentencing date has been pushed back (to July 21st), we will need for other masajid and centers to follow suit in the days ahead, so that critical momentum is not lost in our ongoing pursuit of the ultimate goal: the freedom of our oppressed sister, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, and ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS! 

The struggle continues (May ALLAH strengthen and preserve us),

 

El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan, Director of Operations, The Peace thru Justice Foundation Office: (301) 762-9162 E-mail: peacethrujustice@aol.com (org) ssaala@aol.com (personal)

 

 

 

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