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Re: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui - An Open letter to CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS & MSA-National

11 September 2012

By El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

Assalaamu Alaikum:

It is reported that the last Messenger of ALLAH (peace be upon him) said: "By The One in whose hand rests my soul, you must surely enjoin the good and forbid the evil, otherwise it is expected that ALLAH will send against you a punishment from Him, and you will supplicate Him but your supplication will not be answered."

Last Sunday The Peace Thru Justice Foundation organized a very important event (at significant expense for our modest budget) at The Carnegie Library in Washington, DC. Why? To make it easy for some of America's most prominent Muslim leaders – who were gathered in the nation's capitol for the annual Islamic Society of North America convention -  to be educated, and hopefully conscientized, on what arguably ranks as the most tragic and precedent-setting case involving a victimized Muslim, Post-9/11; the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui!

On the Friday and Saturday before the event was held, I personally handed a flyer on the event to Nihad Awad (executive director of CAIR-Natl.); Imam Mohamad Magid (president of ISNA); Dr. Zahid Bukhari (president of ICNA); to one or more ranking members of the Muslim American Society (MAS) and Muslim Students Association (MSA); and to a number of other high profile leaders in the Muslim-American community. Neither Awad, Magid, or Bukhari bothered to show up, nor did they deem it necessary to send anyone to represent their respective organizations. As far as I know MAS and MSA were no-shows as well.

Of the nationally known imams who received notice, only Imam Mohammad al-Asi considered the event important enough for him to be present, and to speak a word in defense of our sister! Imam Abdullah Faaruuq of the Mosque for the Praising of ALLAH (Roxbury, MA) would have been present were it not for a health-related issue (may ALLAH cure him), and so he sent a statement instead (see below).

Of the roughly 100 plus persons who were seated in The Carnegie Library auditorium at the height of the four hour program, one notable, Abdul Malik Mujahid ("Sound Vision," Chicago, IL.) emotionally lamented the fact that a highly respected figure in the U.S. establishment – such as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark – had to speak in a small auditorium in a building across the street from where a national convention was taking place.

The real crying shame, however, was that Professor Clark could travel all the way to Pakistan in defense of an oppressed Muslim woman, but her own prominent brethren in the fold of Islam could not travel across the street! It is also a crying shame that a program on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui – one of the most gifted, committed and abused young Muslims to ever grace America's shores as a visiting immigrant – had to be held across the street from a nationally organized Muslim convention, in the very capitol of the country that has her wrongfully and brutally imprisoned!

The purpose of this open letter is to publicly appeal to the individual and collective conscience of America's Muslim establishment. Unless and until we begin doing the things that we are commanded to do by ALLAH and His Messenger (i.e. "Stand firmly for justice as witnesses to ALLAH even if it be against yourselves…" – Al'Qur'an) we will never get the respect that so many of us crave. Until we learn how to STAND UP as men we will forever be burdened by the mental chains of neo-colonialism and psychological slavery. Until we begin defending our women, our children, and our communities we will forever confine ourselves to the dungeons of fear and spiritual stagnation!

What YOU Can Do

The case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a litmus test for Muslims in America - esp. for Muslim "leadership." If we collectively fail to rise to the challenge of Aafia's unjust imprisonment (under blatant unconstitutional conditions) the growing number of preemptively prosecuted young Muslim males do not stand a snowballs chance in hell of getting relief. We must understand this reality and respond accordingly.

From this point on, for as long as Aafia is imprisoned in America, every Muslim conference convened in the U.S. should have a segment dedicated to the plight of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (and the campaign for her release) in one of its main sessions.  MSA National should send out a directive urging all of its chapters to organize forums on campuses around the country geared toward educating the public (esp. fellow students) on who she is. (For the record, Aafia Siddiqui was a valued student leader of the MSA at both MIT and Brandeis; that should count for something!)

To any local MSA leaders who read this message, if your national leadership is too apathetic or intimidated to respond to this challenge, you should respond on a local and regional level.

The national organizations that have masajid and centers connected to them throughout the country (such as ISNA, ICNA and MAS) should encourage these centers to at least talk about the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, and do whatever else they can to help mobilize material support for her. If large centers can roll out the red carpet for occasional visits from representatives of the FBI, the US Military, or local and state politicians - or to local bigots who attempt to exercise a kind of veto power over the center via their occasional visits – than these centers should be willing to welcome the occasional visit of a defender of a fellow Muslim!

Organizations and individual leaders with ties to the political establishment should be putting "friendly politicians" on point regarding this sister's plight. It is a shame that not even the two Muslim congressmen on Capitol Hill (Ellison and Carson) have raised the issue of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in their high profile representation of Muslims in America.

Nationally renowned men [and women] of knowledge should also be raising the issue of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (and other political prisoners/prisoners of war) with their students, while conveying the message that responding to the plight of such persons is as binding upon the truly committed Muslim as are the five salat! Shu'yuuk who ignore this responsibility relegate themselves to the status of being nothing more than celebrity sheikhs – who TALK much, but are of very little relevance on the major issues of the day!

While I could say more, I think I've said enough. May ALLAH fortify, purify and preserve us in the never ending struggles ahead. Ameen.

Your brother in the fold of Islam,

El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan

Director of Operations

The Peace Thru Justice Foundation 

"Indeed from my Ummah there are a folk who will receive rewards equivalent to the rewards of the early ones [my companions] because they forbid the evil." – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 


In the Name of Allah: The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Who Is She? 

By Imam Abdullah Faaruuq & Sister Sufia Hassan 

If we are going to give support to this woman Dr. Aafia  Siddiqui, we need to ask ourselves, ‘Who is she and what did she do?' We know the answer is going to vary depending upon whom we ask. If we ask those who know her -- her friends, associates, family, those who lived, studied or worked with her -  they would attest to her good character, concern for others, and truthfulness. However, if we ask those who never knew her, but only heard through the media via government officials, they would say she is an evil woman, an attempted murderer bent on destroying America—a terrorist. We are told in Islam to ask those who know—I am one who knew her personally.

By virtue of her behavior and speech, nothing could be further from the truth than those lies used to turn public opinion against her. I can tell you how she spent her time. I witnessed her raising money for clothing and food for the displaced Bosnians fleeing from Serbian oppression. I worked with her as she raised money to purchase and distribute Islamic literature. Those efforts reached the forgotten inmates seeking knowledge of the truth about Islam, while incarcerated in so-called correctional institutions. Her resources also made their way to university students in MSAs providing them literature to promote their spiritual growth, while they continued to pursue their secular endeavors. But her efforts did not stop there, she sent much needed Qurans and other literature to various Mosques to help promote Islam as a complete way of life.

I listened to her deliver inspiring speeches that motivated both men and women to get involved with issues that concerned humanity as a whole and Muslims in particular. Such speeches were given during the Bosnian War. After hearing this young dynamic woman speak, no one could continue to be a by-stander in good conscience. Reading about our Muslim Brothers being killed and Muslim Sisters being raped, while the world looked on was not an option. She encouraged doctors to go and donate their services, and sisters to give money to support that effort. Money for food and clothing was collected to help the Bosnian refugees. She also gave speeches that encouraged Muslim women to not be afraid to cover as Allah commanded, or practice their religion openly in this land of the free and home of the brave. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's speeches always motivated people towards noble and righteous causes that any sound minded American would support.

I witnessed her as a mother truly concerned for her children. They were well groomed and cared for. I ate delicious food cooked with her own hands and enjoyed her company and wit. She was a Muslim woman who was not afraid to champion the cause of oppressed people, her people who happened to be Muslims. This is the Aafia Siddiqui that I know.

If we listen to those who never knew her and have political agendas, we would be lead to believe that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui must have committed some heinous crime for authorities to abduct her in her own homeland, transport her across the border, have her missing for five years, release and re-arrest her, shoot and wound her, then charge her with unsubstantiated accusations of assaulting an FBI agent with his own weapon in an attempt to kill him. We would also be lead to believe that while she and her children were missing for five years, that she ran away and actively participated in some Al Qaeda operations which never manifested and for which she was never charged. If the US government is unable to charge her with any crimes of terrorism, than why did they chase her around the world and subject her to all forms of torture.

We would be lead to believe that this graduate of MIT and Brandeis University would be willing to sacrifice her life and the lives of her children for an impractical cause. We would have to ignore the fact that there was no forensic evidence that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui ever touched an assault weapon (none of her finger prints were on any of the weapons). We would have to ignore the evidence presented in court that not one bullet from the automatic weapon authorities claimed that she fired was found among the barrage of bullets in the space in which she was contained. We would also have to ignore the fact that she was the only one shot and nearly killed. 

For me Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a political prisoner being held unjustly in a maximum security prison for showing concern for Muslims here and abroad.  The question still remains, who is Dr Aafia Siddiqui to you? 

Imam Abdullah Faaruuq
Mosque for The Praising of Allah
(T) 617-442-2805 (F) 617-445-2345
724 Shawmut Ave.
Roxbury MA 02119


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