By Imam Abdullah Faaruuq & Sister Sufia Hassan
In the Name of Allah: The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
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
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