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Jamada al-thani 1,1435/March 31, 2014 # 13
Breaking News: Syria
Mujahideen in Latakia province
March 31: Mujahideen are advancing slowly but steadilly in
Latakia province towards Latakia city, If they take the
city, that will be the end of Bashar Assad's regime as it is
the stronghold of Alawites and Armenian Christians, the
minorities who have been helping Assad to slaughter the
After capruring Kassab crossing to Turkey, the mujahideen
led by al-Nusra and several smaller groups captured Kassab
town on March 25. From there they advanced and captured the
small coastal town of Samra from where weapons can be
The Syrian air force is putting in a big effort to stop the
Islamic advance. Only one air strike was successful and
killed 10 fighters.
The mujahideen are advancing into the Latakia countryside.
Christians supporting Assad are fleeing to Latakia city
where they and the Alawites are terrorizing the Sunnis.
In the mountains the Assadi elites have captured the
villages of Flita and Ras Mara and are moving on Rankous.
This is Assad's escape route and the Shiites from Lebanon
are desperately helping Assad to keep it open. The Sunni
population of these villages has fled to Arsal across the
border in Lebanon.
Most of Syria is now in Islamic hands other than a few forts
in various places which are holding out because the
mujahideen lack heavy weapons.
On March 29, Lebanese forces threatening Syrian refugees in
Arsal [Lebanon] were attacked by a martyrdom operator who
killed 3 Lebanese troops and wounded 4.
Breaking News: Iraq
March 25-30. Across Iraq there have been mujahideen attacks
against military and police forces of the US-installed
government. Several hundred troops have been killed and
Another Shi'ite government attempt to recapture Fallujs
failed with heavy government losses. This was followed by
air attacks on Fallujah with weapons recently sent to the
Shiite government by the US.
Ramadi and Fallujah remain in al-Qaida [ISIL] hands.
A mujahideen human bomber blew up the bridge into Ramadi
with heavy heavy casualties to the Shiite troops crossing
it. [Please go to end for report on ONE DAY of turmoil in
Iraq recorded by non-Muslim.]
Breaking News: Egypt
March 29. General Sisi's air force bombed several villages
in the Sinai which are supporting the mujahideen. The
village known as Mahdeya received direct hits by the planes
March 28: Ikhwan supporters continued peaceful
demonstrations in Egyptian cities after Juma. General Sisi
tried to bring Mubarak's supporters and Copts to counter the
Ikhwan but with little success..
A Judge under General Sisi's auspices ordered mass
executions of Islamic prisoners. It has not stopped the
demonstrations by Ikhwan, 2500 of whom have already killed
since last year.
Breaking News: Saudi Arabia
March 28: President Obama paid a surprise visit to King
Abdullah. The King is interested in getting the US to give
heavy weapons to the FSA opponents of Assad in Syria who are
pro-West. He is concerned that most Syrians are supporting
al-Nusra and ISIL whom the king has declared are
"terrorist" groups in agreement with Assad's definition.
Breaking News: Iran
Three Islamic opponents of the Shiite regime in Tehran were
hanged in public in eastern Tehran recently. Jamaat
al-Muslimeen Virginia has sent us a video of the hangings.
It is too graphic to be published. The Islamic opponents of
Iran were chanting "Allahu Akbar" even to the last minute
as they were hanged to death. In the background Iranians can
be heard shouting "marge bur Wahhabi." The Iranians use
this Zionist term to insult those Muslims who strictly
follow Qur'an and Hadith.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen's National Islamic Shoora to meet on May
The Shoora will meet in Baltimore, inshallah, Advice and
writings are welcome.
We thank Br. Shamim Siddiqui [Long Island, New York] for his
books and his advice.
It is a planning committee meeting and will be addressed by:
Sis. Ashira [Organizer]
Dr. Abdulalim Shabazz
Br. Robert Solano
Br. Ali Randall
Sis. Ayesha [Richmond,]
Br. Abu Talib
Br. Abdur Rahman
Br. Kaukab Siddique
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania: Countrywide Conference on
On March 29, 2014, Dr. Kaukab Siddique presented a research
paper on his novel Man's Twin related to Allama Iqbal's
dream of a unique country, Pakistan, and the struggle of
women in Pakistan . A summary of the presentation and
selected bibliography is published below. Please scroll to
Election Result for Jamaate Islami's Ameer by Secret ballot.
Sirajul Haq, known for his humble life style, elected.
On March 30, Jamaate Islami Pakistan announced the result of
its elections for the top position of Ameer. It is Sirajul
Haq from Frontier Province. He is from Dir, in the northeast
Munawar Hasan's position ends in April. Munawar sahib is an
unequalled activist in the entire history of JI. Sirajul Haq
is a worthy successor and he may be exactly the right
person, though it will be difficult to follow up on Munawar.
Congratulations to Jamaate Islami for its excellent shoora
Jamaat al-Muslimeen Activity in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Women's Rights, Syria, Egypt, Education Help for US
On March 28, a 4 page Jamaat al-Muslimeen document was given
to 75 Muslims after Juma' salat at Muslim Community Center,
an upscale masjid, in Silver Spring, Maryland, about 10
miles north of Washington, DC. Of the 75, there were 25
women and 50 men. It was well received.
The 4 pages were:
Debunking the idea that Muslim husbands have the
right to beat their wives. Qur'anic discussion.
Heavy fighting in Syria and Assad regime's ongoing
atrocities against Muslims.
Anti-Sisi rallies in Egypt plus Educational outlet for
ex-prisoners from Br. Boatwright in Michigan.
Our America #2.
Jamaat al-Muslimeen Activity in Newark, Delaware, 50 miles
north of Baltimore.
Hail Turkey, Huge Jamaate Islami rally in Karachi, Ikhwan
face Sisi, Syria.
On March 28, after juma in the main Islamic center of
Newark, Delaware, Jamaat al-Muslimeen literature was given
to 50 Muslims. These were 6 pages as follows:
Turkey shoots down Assad's jet bomber: First Islamic air
strike in Mid East.
Br. Kaukab Siddique's article on Peace and War in Islam.
We are against oppression, not against anyone's religion.
Syria: Assad's forces fired on civilians fleeing Yabroud.
Mujahideen's first step into Latakia.
Br. Kaukab's khutba on Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, and
Khalid, r.a., Saifullah.
Taliban teenagers raid Serena hotel in Kabul. & Unnarmed
Ikhwan demonstrators face General Sisi's tyranny unafraid.
Huge UNITE PAKISTAN rally in Karachi, addressed by
Munawar Hasan, Hafiz Naeemi and others.
Our America: #3
Strong Khutba against Liquor in Masjid Jamaat al-Muslimeen.
On March 28, an African imam gave the juma khutba in Masjid
Jamaat al-Muslimeen. He spoke strongly against liquor and
its devastating results in America.
A delicious African meal was served after khutba and sunnah
A young African American man embraced Islam at the hands of
With thanks to Jamaat al-Muslimeen Virginia.
British Muslimah rebuts Noah the Movie.
Go to Youtube and enter: Noah the Movie & Russel Crowe: A
Our America: #4
New York City
Rally for Bengali Islamic Youth, falsely Imprisoned in the
US Gulag: April 7, 6 PM
Family appeals to Muslim Community
Dear Friends in Justice!
Greetings of Peace,
Stand by the family of political prisoner Shifa Sadequee and
community members and activists in NYC on April 7 and
support the No Separate Justice Domestic Human Rights
Campaign! Come and learn about Shifa's case and the plight
of post-9/11 Muslim prisoners in the American Federal Prison
Each month, the No Separate Justice vigils spotlight an
individual case to reveal a part of the larger systematic
abuses happening across the criminal justice system in these
cases. April's vigil will focus on the case of Ehsanul
Sadequee, who is known as "Shifa" to his friends and family.
The US government started monitoring Shifa in 2001 when he
was just 15 years old. In April 2006, Shifa was kidnapped
and arrested in Bangladesh just days after he had married
his wife, "Happy." The charges against him were that he had
made false statements in an August 2005 interview with the
FBI. These charges would later be dropped and changed
instead to four terrorism charges that included taking
"casing videos" of Washington, DC landmarks and by engaging
in "rudimentary paramilitary training" by going to a
paintball park in Georgia. The evidence against Shifa was
marked "secret" until a few months before his trial and
consisted mostly his translations of Arabic religious and
political texts for Tibyan Publication and online
conversations of teenagers about religion.
During the time of his capture in Bangladesh and extradition
to the US, his family said he was stripped of his clothes
and wrapped in plastic and later abused and tortured. Upon
his transfer to a prison in Atlanta, Georgia in the summer
of 2006, Shifa was put into solitary confinement where he
remained for three years until his trial began in August
2009. Leading up to his trial, government prosecutors
requested that no mention of the conditions of Shifa's
capture, rendition or his pre-trial detention in Bangladesh
and the United States be allowed into his trial. The judge
allowed for this request. Shifa defended himself at his
trial. In August 2009, Shifa was convicted of aiding
terrorist groups and sentenced to 17 years in prison plus 30
years probation. He is currently held in the "Communication
Management Unit" in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Please bring a flashlight or candle with you on April 7 as
we will be shining a light together to expose the human
rights abuses happening at MCC, the federal government's
domestic torture site in New York City, and across our
country in these cases. We have plenty of signs to
No Separate Justice Vigil for Shifa Sadequee
Monday, April 7 @ 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Metropolitan Correctional Center
New York, New York
Facebook page for more information: April 7 Vigil -- No
Help us spread the word!
[With thanks to Br. Hyder, Canada]
Buddhist Mob terrorizes Aid Workers, Loots Relief Goods for
27 March 2014, Thursday /YANGON, AP
Buddhist-led mobs tore through streets hurling stones at the
offices and residences of international aid workers in
Myanmar's western Rakhine state on Thursday, prompting the
evacuation of some staff members, residents and officials
There were no immediate indications anyone was hurt in the
violence, which started in the state capital, Sittwe, late
Wednesday and picked up again early Thursday, with angry
crowds swelling in size from several hundred to more than
1,000. At least one building was looted and three cars
damaged, officials said on condition of anonymity because
they feared retaliation.
Iqbal's Poetry and the struggle of a Muslim woman in
Borders between Countries and between Men and Women.
by Kaukab Siddique [The Lincoln University, Pa.]
Muhammad Iqbal is known as the Poet of the East in Pakistan.
His philosophy of Selfhood [khudi in Persian] led him to
think about the future of the Muslims of India. The concept
he developed was that of autonomy of the individual which
brought him to the concept of a separate homeland for
Muslims which came to be specified as sovereign Muslim
homelands to be carved out of Hindu India. Gradually, at the
popular level, it was formulated as PAKISTAN [the land of
the pure]. What began as a political resolution in 1940,
when it was accepted by a political party known as Muslim
League which was led by a westernized attorney Mohomed Ali
Jinnah, gradually became the rallying cry of the Muslims:
Pakistan Zindabad: [Long Live Pakistan.]
Iqbal taught that only in sublime separation can the
individual achieve apotheosis or perfection. After the
completion of his studies in the Persian and Urdu languages,
Iqbal went to England and Germany and received his PhD from
Heidelberg University. A street in Heidelberg is named after
him. He achieved expertise in the philosophy of the West as
he had done for the thought of the East. He was influenced
by Neitzsche and later by Marx and Lenin but they became
merely the prologue to his greatest poetry which was about
the essential autonomy of the individual which he saw in its
excellence in the Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him.
Iqbal's favorite image was that of the pearl which achieves
selfhood [khudi] by strictly separating itself from the
ocean. Pakistan was to be a nation which demanded that its
essence and its difference be recognized. The Hindu majority
of India in its assimilative power would have liked the
Muslims to be just another of the scores of minorities and
sub-minorities in India. Hinduism projected this
assimilative power through its myriad gods and smaller
deities. For Iqbal such assimilation was unthinkable owing
to the stark monotheism of Islam. He successfully projected
this concept of selfhood through the political leader of the
Muslims, the charismatic lawyer Mohomed Ali Jinnah. With his
western education in law, Jinnah was able to thwart all the
moves of the British and the Hindus to nullify the idea of
Pakistan. Under Iqbal's influence, Jinnah's mental horizons
changed and he realized that the boundaries marked by Islam
were the only guarantee of a modern state created for
Hindu India looked with contempt at separatist Pakistan and
thought it could never survive. The heroine of my story,
Gulnar, was swept away in this sunami of contempt and hatred
and yet survived and achieved selfhood.
During 1947, one of the biggest mass migrations in modern
history took place in the Punjab, the land of five rivers,
as more than ten million Muslims fled from India to
Pakistan, two new countries created by the British. The
birth of Pakistan on August 14 was ushered in by an outburst
of mass killings of Muslim civilians by Hindus and Sikhs.
Khushwant Singh, himself a Sikh, has written about the
arrival of trains from India to Pakistan packed with the
bodies of mutilated and chopped up men, women and
My story focuses on a young woman, Gulnar, who arrived with
a flood of refugees from India to the Pakistani city of
Lahore. She had been extricated by a turbaned Sikh from a
mob which was getting ready to kill her after committing
gang rape on her. He encouraged her to live and to go to her
people in Pakistan.
The borders of India and Pakistan, particularly in the
province of Punjab, were determined by the top Englishman in
the province who was relinquishing control over India. One
of his historic blunders was to use a pencil marker to
scratch a wavy line across the eastern Punjab, leaving
millions of Muslims on the wrong side of the border. He
probably never heard of this young woman in a dusty little
village who was victimized by a crowd of frenzied men drunk
with power and liquor.
Here in Punjab 1947 we meet not only the blood red border of
eastern and western Punjab, but also the border between men
and women. For most men, woman is the "other." She is
objectified and is subjected to brutal violence when male
voices rise across defenseless borders.
A woman may escape across a border from one country to the
other, but she cannot cross the border from the world of the
male because the male world is endless.
Men say that a woman was responsible for the expulsion of
Adam from Heaven. Also, that she was produced from the
male's rib and that her punishment is to go to the male,
become pregnant, carry the fetus for nine months, give birth
with great pain, and then go back to the male and repeat the
same "punishment." Prophylactics have changed the situation
but most of history was true to the story of Genesis.
Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, described woman as "man's
twin" with sexual autonomy and full empowerment of her
sexual, physical and spiritual being. [Sunan of Abu Dawood.]
Men, however, go through a process of learning woman as
woman and not as merely the object of their desires.
Gulnar arrives in Pakistan, scarred but alive. Here too her
torment continues. She is picked up by a pimp and "broken"
to serve his clients through his Madam. We move to the
Pakistani hinterland and she gets used to the existence
described as the Gilded Cage. She is comfortable in her
sexual enslavement and has all the luxuries she gets used
to. The survival tactics of women who are trapped in
sexually untenable situations mark the border between men
and women. Japanese women accepted self-degradation at the
level of the physical to achieve economic survival
Is there a way out for Gulnar?
She hears voices from the cafeteria below her apartment
which discuss choice and determination. These are two
Pakistani men of the new generation who think the world can
be changed. As they leave the café each afternoon after
their discussion, she looks at them out in the hot Pakistani
sun. Those who are in the bright light cannot see the one in
the darkness. Her existence is hidden from them. Finally one
day she calls them up to her apartment and urges them that
based on the philosophy they had discussed, one of them
should marry her and get her out of her Gilded Cage. They
refuse, but days later the hero of the story comes back and
marries her in defiance of the religious network of
conservatism. What is a gilded cage?
"There is a painting by Evelyn De Morgan called The Gilded
Cage. It was her final work before her death in 1919.
In this painting, a woman looks out a window with her hand
stretched out and up in a gesture of yearning. She is
looking at a group of gypsy figures, dancing under the open
sky. The principal figure among the gypsy group is a woman
who dances while holding her baby close to her, thus
suggesting an alternative vision of maternal duty.
Soaring free above the dancing group is a bird, which
contrasts sharply to the captive bird in the gilded cage
that hangs beside the woman's older husband. The husband
seems oblivious to his wife's state of mind.
On the floor and disregarded is jewelry and an open book,
which signifies her rejection of tradition, convention, and
old ideas." [Dave Carey's Starfish Ministries.]
Borders are also created by immigration. The immigrant in
the first generation finds it difficult to assimilate into
her new nation. But if she visits her country of origin, she
is an alien there too in a reversal of cognition. She does
not belong anywhere.
In a double reversal, the Sikhs on the borderland of Punjab,
who had joined the Hindus during 1947 in persecuting the
Muslims, in 1964 find themselves at war with the Hindus.
Like the Muslims, they wanted self-determination and found
it unacceptable to the majority. Gulnar returns to her home
to meet the Sikh who had saved her 17 years earlier.
Gulnar is a metaphor for the Pakistani and Sikh drive for
self-determination. Like the high ideals spelled out by
Pakistan's founder, Mohomed Ali Jinnah, she dreams of going
to the mosque built on justice and equality but cannot find
her way there. Like her, Pakistan, which means The Land of
the Pure, becomes embroiled in the wars of self-destruction
Gulnar finally emerges strong and sure of herself. A good
man is at her side but she is morally stronger than him.
Bibliography for Borders....
Ahmed, Akbar. Jinnah, Pakistan and Islamic Identity: The
Search for Saladin. Routledge (First Edition): 1997
Ali, Yusuf, trans. The Qur'an. Tahrike Tarsile Qur'an.
Ansari, Sarah. Life after Partition: Migration, Community
and Strife in Sindh 1947-1962. Oxford University
Alter, Stephen. Amritsar to Lahore. A Journey Across the
India-Pakistan Border. University of Pennsylvania Press:
Bacque, James. Crimes and Mercies. The Fate of German
Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944-1950. Warner. UK.
Butalia, Urvashi. The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the
Partition of India. Duke University Press Books: 2000
Cohen, Stephen P. The Idea of Pakistan. Brookings
Institution Press (2nd Edition):2006
Dower, John W. Embracing Defeat. Japan in the Wake of World
War 11. W.W. Norton. 1999
Husain, Saleha Bilal. In Karachi. University of Karachi,
Iqbal, Javed. Kulliyate Iqbal. [Urdu]. Shaikh Niaz Ahmad.
Lahore: Pakistan. 1979.
Jalal, Ayesha. The Pity of Partition: Manto's Life, Times,
and Work across the India-Pakistan Divide. Princeton
University Press: 2013
Jones, Ann. Next Time She'll be Dead. Battering & How to
Stop it. Beacon Press. 2000
Kaul, Suvir. The Partitions of Memory: The Afterlife of the
Division of India. Indiana University Press:2002
Khan, Yasmin. The Great Partition: The Making of India and
Pakistan. Yale University Press: 2008
Kothar, Smitu. Bridging Partition: People's Initiatives for
Peace Between India & Pakistan. Orient Blackswan:2014
Kraybill, Donald. Amish Enterprise. From Plows to Profits.
Johns Hopkins University Press. 1995.
Mehdi, Rubya. Gender and Property Law in Pakistan. Vanguard
Books, Lahore, Pakistan.2002.
Menon, Dr. Jisha. The Performance of Nationalism: India,
Pakistan, and the Memory of Partition. Cambridge University
Pasha, Kamran. Mother of the Believers. Washington Square
Phillips, C.H..The Evolution of India and Pakistan:
1858-1947. Oxford University Press:1962
Renou, Louis. Hinduism. George Braziller. 1962.
Roy, Haimanti. Partitioned Lives: Migrants, Refugees,
Citizens in India and Pakistan, 1947-65. Oxford University
Riesman, David et al. The Lonely Crowd. Doubleday Anchor.
Sayeed, Khalid. Pakistan. The Formative Phase. 1857-1948.
Oxford University Press: 1978.
Siddique, Kaukab. Man's Twin. Noor Publishing House, Dhaka,
Return to Pakistan. American Society for Ed. & Re.,
The Struggle of Muslim Women. Jamaat al-Muslimeen, Dhaka,
Women in Hadith Narratives. New Trend. Maryland. 2013
Singh, Jaswant. India, Partition, Independence. Oxford
University Press: 2010
Singh, Khushwant; Lall, Arthur. Train to Pakistan. Grove
Press (Reprint Edition):1994
Stewart, Frank; Kumar, Paul. Crossing Over: Partition
Literature from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. University
of Hawaii Press: 2007
Talbot, Ian. The Independence of India and Pakistan: New
Approaches and Reflections (Subcontinent Divided: A New
Beginning). Oxford University Press: 2014
Tudor, Maya. The Promise of Power: The Origins of Democracy
in India and Autocracy in Pakistan. Cambridge University
Talbot, Ian. Freedom's Cry: The Popular Dimension in the
Pakistan Movement and Partition Experience in North-West
India. Oxford University Press: 1997
Vance, Carole, ed. Pleasure and Danger. Exploring Female
Sexuality. Rutledge & Kegan Paul. 1989.
Watch, Human Rights. No Escape. Male Rape in U.S. Prisons.
Wahid-uz-Zaman, trans. Sunan Abu Dawood. Quran Mahal,
Weaver, Mary Anne. Pakistan in the Shadow of Jihad and
Afghanistan. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2002
March - 16 - 2014
Who is Dr Aafia Siddiqui?
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was born on 2 March 1972 in Karachi,
Pakistan. She is one of three siblings. Aafia's father
Mohammad Siddiqui was a UK-trained doctor and her mother,
Ismet, is a homemaker. Aafia has three children: Ahmed (b.
1996), Maryam (b. 1998), and Suleman (b. 2002), the latter
of whom remains missing to this day.
Aafia moved to Texas in 1990 to be near her brother, and
after spending a year at the University of Houston,
transferred to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Siddiqui's fellow students say she was a quiet, studious
woman who was devout in her religious beliefs but far from
the media characterisation of 'Lady Qaeda'. A fellow
student, Hamza, recalled in an interview with the BBC, "I
remember Aafia as being sweet, mildly irritating but
During her time at MIT, Aafia joined the campus Muslim
Student Association (MSA) and was actively involved in
efforts to portray the teachings of Islam to non-Muslims in
order to better their understanding of her faith and invite
them to Islam. Her emphasis in her life on bettering the
conditions of Muslims even pervaded her academic
achievements. During her sophomore year at MIT, she won a
grant of $5,000 to study the effects of Islam on women
living in Pakistan. In addition to her many academic
achievements, Aafia earned the honourable status of
committing the entire Qur'an to memory.
Following her graduation, Aafia married a medical student
Mohammed Amjad Khan. She subsequently entered Brandeis
University as a graduate student in cognitive neuroscience.
Citing the difficulty of living as Muslims in the United
States after 9/11 and following FBI harassment of her
husband, Aafia and her husband returned to Pakistan. They
stayed in Pakistan for a short time, and then returned to
the United States. They remained there until 2002, and then
moved back to Pakistan. Some problems developed in their
marriage, and Aafia was eight months pregnant with their
third child when she and Khan were separated. She and the
children stayed at her mother's house, while Khan lived
elsewhere in Karachi. After giving birth to her son, Aafia
stayed at her mother's house for the rest of the year,
returning to the US without her children around December
2002 to look for a job in the Baltimore area, where her
sister had begun working at Sinai Hospital. On 1 March 2003,
Pakistani authorities arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Aafia
and her children disappeared just 27 days later.
According to Aafia's mother, Aafia left their home in
Gulshan-e-Iqbal in a Metro-cab on 28 March, 2003 to catch a
flight to Rawalpindi, but never reached the airport. In
February 2010 Aafia's eldest son returned to the scene and
described how, when he, his mother and siblings came out of
their home, fifteen to twenty people, including a 'white
lady' and members of the ISI, were waiting in three to four
vehicles on the next street and subsequently kidnapped them.
Aafia was placed into one black car and the crying children
into another. She described to her lawyer that she was
immediately hooded and drugged. When she awoke she was tied
to a gurney in a place that could not have been Karachi
because the air was very dry.
Following her trial, Aafia's lawyer Elaine Sharpe, described
how Aafia's baby, Suleman, was believed to have been killed
during the arrest. Dr Siddiqui was later shown a picture of
her baby, lying in a pool of blood. It is not known if
Suleman, who would now be 7 years old, is alive.
Pakistani papers mentioned reports the following day that a
woman had been taken into custody of terrorism charges and
confirmation came from a Pakistan Interior Ministry
spokesman. The media reported that Aafia Siddiqui had been
'picked up in Karachi by an intelligence agency' and
'shifted to an unknown place for questioning'. A year later,
the press quoted a Pakistani government spokesman who said
that she had been handed over to US authorities in 2003.
Aafia Siddiqui had been missing for more than a year when
the FBI put her photographs on its website.
Aafia's mother described in a BBC interview in 2003, how a
'man wearing a motor-bike helmet' which he did not remove,
arrived at the family residence and warned her that if she
ever wanted to see her daughter and grandchildren again, she
should keep quiet. Both the Pakistan government as well as
US officials in Washington denied any knowledge of Aafia's
custody. Aafia's sister, Fowzia also says that she was told
by the then Interior Minister Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat in
2004 that Aafia had been released and would return home
At almost precisely the same time that Aafia went missing,
two other alleged Al Qaeda suspects disappeared from Karachi
- Majid Khan and 'Ali 'Abd al-'Aziz 'Ali. They would be
amongst hundreds arrested by the Pakistani intelligence
services and handed over to the FBI and CIA as part of the
War on Terror. Like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Khan and Ali
would not reappear again until September 2006, following
their transfer from CIA custody, where they were reportedly
tortured including the use of waterboarding, to
Aafia claims that she was kidnapped by the Pakistani
intelligence services with her children and transferred into
US custody. She further alleges that she was detained in a
series of secret prisons for five years during which time
she was repeatedly abused, tortured and raped. Aafia's claim
is substantiated by former Bagram detainees who affirmed the
presence of a female detainee of Pakistani origin at Bagram,
with the prisoner ID "650". The International Committee for
the Red Cross also confirmed that a woman had been detained
at Bagram. Immediately after his release from Guantanamo in
2009, ex-Bagram detainee, Binyam Mohamed declared that the
woman he saw in Bagram, with the prison no. 650, was indeed
The US has previously denied the presence of female
detainees in Bagram and that Aafia was ever held there, bar
for medical treatment (after they shot her) in July
Little is known about what happened to Aafia and her
children in the five years in which they were missing.
However, in October 2009, when Aafia was visited by a
Pakistani parliamentary delegation she spoke a little about
the five years in which she had been disappeared, saying "I
have been through living hell". She described being given an
injection and when she came to, she was in a cell. She said
she was being brainwashed by men who spoke perfect English,
who may have been Afghans. She did not think they were
Pakistanis. She described being forced to make false
confessions and sign statements. She alleged that she had
been tortured although she provided no details. She was also
told by her captors that if she did not co-operate, her
children would suffer. During her trial, Aafia alluded to
being tortured in secret prisons, to being raped, her
children being tortured, and being threatened to be "sent
back to the bad guys" - men she described as sounding like
Americans but could not be "real Americans" but "pretend
Americans" due to the treatment they had subjected her to.
After her trial it emerged that the government of Pakistan
had put a gag order on Aafia's family in exchange for
releasing her eldest son Ahmed.
Aafia's lawyers, Elaine Sharpe and Elizabeth Fink, would
later corroborate this by stating publicly that she had
"been through years of detention, whose interrogators were
American, who endured treatment fairly characterised as
horrendous" and that she had been "tortured".
RE-ARREST IN AFGHANISTAN
On 7 July 2008, a press conference led by British journalist
Yvonne Ridley, in Pakistan resulted in mass international
coverage of Aafia's case as her disappearance was questioned
by the media and political figures in Pakistan. Within
weeks, the US administration reported that she was arrested
by Afghani forces along with her 13 year old son, outside
the governor of Ghazni's compound, allegedly with manuals on
explosives and 'dangerous substances in sealed jars' on her
person. Her lawyers claim that the evidence was planted on
her. Aafia would later testify during her trial that the bag
in which the evidence was found was not her own and was
given to her, being unaware of its contents. She also
claimed that the handwritten notes were forcibly copied from
a magazine under threat of torture of her children. She
recalledthe presence of a boy at the Ghazni police station
whom she believed could have been her son, but could not
know with certainty since they had been separate for several
On 3 August 2008 an agent from the FBI visited the home of
her brother in Houston, Texas and confirmed that she was
being detained in Afghanistan. On Monday 4 August 2008,
federal prosecutors in the US confirmed that Aafia Siddiqui
had been extradited to the US from Afghanistan where they
alleged she had been detained since mid-July 2008. They
further allege that whilst in custody she fired at US
officers (none being injured) and was herself shot twice in
the process. Aafia confirmed during her trial that she was
hiding behind a curtain in the prison, as the US claim, with
the intent of escaping as she feared being returned to a
secret prison, but categorically denied picking up the gun
or attempting to shoot anyone. Aafia was charged in the US
with assaulting and attempted murder of US personnel in
RELEASE OF AHMED SIDDIQUI
In late August 2008, Michael G Garcia, the US attorney
general of the southern region confirmed in a letter to Dr
Fowzia Siddiqui that Aafia's son, Ahmed had been in the
custody of the FBI since 2003 and was he was currently in
the custody of the Karzai government. Earlier the US
ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W Patterson had earlier claimed
that Washington has no information regarding the
According to an Afghan Interior Ministry official quoted in
the Washington Post, Ahmed Siddiqui was briefly held by the
Interior Ministry after his arrest in July 2008 and was
thereafter transferred to an Afghan intelligence agency, the
National Directorate of Security (NDS), notorious for its
brutal treatment of detainees, despite the fact he was too
young to be treated as a criminal suspect under both Afghan
and international law. Under Afghanistan's Juvenile Code,
the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 13 and
according to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child a
minimum age of criminal responsibility below the age of 12
is "not internationally acceptable."
Ahmed was finally released to the custody of Aafia's family
in Pakistan in September 2009.
He later gave a statement to police in Lahore, Pakistan,
that he had been held in a juvenile prison in Afghanistan
for years. On being reunited with his father for the first
time, he ran away screaming in horror, claiming that his
father was amongst those who used to beat him in
The trial of Aafia Siddiqui began Tuesday 19 January 2010,
in a Manhattan federal courtroom. Prior to the jury entering
the courtroom, Aafia turned to onlookers saying; "This isn't
a fair court, (...) Why do I have to be here? (...) There
are many different versions of how this happened," referring
to the alleged shooting.
Three government witnesses testified on the opening day of
the trial; Army Capt. Robert Snyder, John Threadcraft, a
former army officer and John Jefferson, an FBI agent. Both
were stationed in Afghanistan at the time of the alleged
assault and murder attempt.
During the trial, while Snyder testified that Aafia had been
arrested with a handwritten note outlining plans to attack
the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge and Wall
Street, Aafia disrupted the proceedings with a loud outburst
aimed at Snyder, after, which she proclaimed her innocence
stating; "Since I'll never get a chance to speak, if you
were in a secret prison.. where children were tortured...
This is no list of targets against New York. I was never
planning to bomb it. You're lying."
In the morning before the closing remarks, the last
government witness, FBI Special Agent, Angela Sercer
testified. Sercer monitored Aafia for 12 hours a day over a
two week period while she was at a hospital in Bagram. She
tried to rebut Aafia Siddiqui's testimony, by saying that
Aafia told her she was in "hiding" for the last five years
and further that she "married" someone to change her
However under cross examination, Sercer admitted that while
at the hospital Aafia expressed fear of "being tortured".
Sercer also admitted that Aafia expressed concern about the
"welfare of the boy" and asked about him "every day".
Moreover, that Aafia only agreed to talk to her upon
promises that the boy would be safe. According to the
testimony Aafia said that the Afghans had "beaten her"; that
her "husband had beaten her and her children"; and that she
was "afraid of coming into physical harm".
When Sercer was further questioned about what Aafia said
about her children during that two week period, she admitted
that Aafia expressed concern about the "safety and welfare
of her children", but felt that the "kids had been killed or
tortured in a secret prison". "She said that they were dead,
didn't she" asked Defence attorney, Elaine Sharpe;
reluctantly Sercer answered, "Yes."
The trial took an unusual turn with an FBI official
asserting that the finger prints taken from the rifle, which
was purportedly used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S.
interrogators, did not match hers. Another event complicated
the case further, when the testimony of witness Masood
Haider Gul appeared different from the one given by U.S.
Captain Schnieder earlier. The defence denied all charges,
stating that "the soldiers had given different versions of
where she was when the M-4 was allegedly fired and how many
shots were fired."
The trial lasted for 2 weeks and the jury deliberated for 2
days before reaching a verdict. On February 3, 2010, she was
convicted and found guilty on all counts. , despite the
The court proceedings were flawed, and limited to the
incident in Ghazni, which itself lacked concrete
It is still unexplained how a frail, 110 pound woman,
confronted with three US army officers, two interpreters and
two FBI agents managed to assault three of them, snatch a
rifle from one of them, open fire at close range, hit no
one, but she herself was wounded.
There were no fingerprints on the gun.
There was no gunshot residue from the gun.
There were no bullet holes in the walls from that
There were no bullets cases or shells in the area from the
The testimony of the government's six eyewitnesses
contradicted each other.
The statements Aafia made to FBI agent Angela Sercer were
made whilst she was under 24 hour surveillance by FBI agents
in the hospital at Bagram, with her arms and legs tied to a
bed for weeks, several types of meidcation, sleep-deprived
and at the mercy of the agent for food, water and in order
to relieve herself. Sercer did not identify herself to Aafia
as a FBI agent. The use of these statements in court were
objected to by the defence on the basis of 'Miranda laws'
which mandate that a detainee must be informed of their
rights, have access to an attorney, or in the case of
international law, consular staff and law enforcement
officials must identify themselves. Despite this the judge
denied the motion and allowed this to form part of the
Aafia's disappearance, torture and missing children were not
at all addressed during the court case.
Following her conviction, Aafia remained at the Metropolitan
Detention Centre in New York where she has spent the best
part of her detention in the US. Throughout that time, she
has been subject to humilitating and degrading strip and
cavity searches, prompting her to refuse legal visits on
many occasions. Since the beginning of March Aafia has been
refused all contact with her family and has not been
permitted any letters, phonecalls, visits or reading
material under the pretext of "the security of the
In April 2010, a 12 year old girl was left outside the
resident of Fowzia Siddiqui in Karachi by unidentified men
claiming she was the missing daughter of Aafia Siddiqui.
Although initially it was thought that she was not Aafia's
daughter, following DNA tests conducted by the Pakistani
government, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik confirmed
that the tests proved that the child was indeed Aafia's
daughter, Maryam, and that her DNA matched that of Ahmed
Siddiqui (Aafia's eldest son) and their father, Amjad Khan.
Dr Fowzia intended to carry out their own independent
investigation to confirm the girl's identity. In a press
conference Senate Committee for Interior Chairman, Senator
Talha Mehmood reported that Maryam Siddiqui was recovered
from Bagram airbase in the custody of an American - in the
Urdu-language press, an American soldier - called "John". He
also said that she had been kept for seven years in a 'cold,
dark room' in Bagram airbase.
After several postponements, Aafia was finally sentenced to
86 years in prison, on 5 counts, on September 23rd 2010,
making her eligible for release in 2094. She would be 122
years old at the time of her release, if she remains alive
at that time.
The whereabouts and welfare of Aafia's youngest son, Suleman
remains a mystery.
[Taken from www.justiceforaafia.org]
Bridge Collapses in Iraq Attack; 56 Killed, 55 Wounded
by Margaret Griffis, March 30, 2014 [Wire services]
At least 56 people were killed and 55 more were wounded in
scattered attacks across Iraq today. In one attack, an
important bridge fell into the Euphrates, killing several
Seven people were killed and wounded 11 more were wounded
when a suicide bomber blew up his explosives and demolished
the al-Houz Bridge in Ramadi. This leaves only one bridge on
the Euphrates River that can still be used by civilians. Two
bridges are reserved for security forces, and two others
were destroyed this year.
A clash near Falluja left nine soldiers dead and 14 more
wounded. Air strikes killed five militants.
Two young people were killed after they were abducted in
Qaim. Yesterday, a kidnapping victim from Qaim was found in
Haditha, but it is unclear if he is related to this
Gunmen attacked an Aiyn al-Jahash checkpoint where they
killed seven soldiers and wounded nine more.
In Baghdad, a bomb killed four people and wounded nine more
at a Yusufiya market.
A roadside bomb in Tikrit killed two police officers. A
sticky bomb killed a colonel.
In Mosul, gunmen killed a doctor.
A roadside bomb killed a solider and wounded two civilians
A bomb in Jurf al-Sakhar wounded seven policemen. At least
three policemen were killed in this or another bombing.
Security forces killed three bombers.
Gunmen killed a man at a school in Arab Jabour.
Gunmen in Taji killed a civilian and wounded two more.
A roadside bomb in Shura killed two policemen and wounded an
Security forces in Iskandariya killed a suicide car bomber
and his passenger.
A suicide bomber was killed in Jbela last night and his bomb
was safely defused.
Two militants were killed in the Hamrim region.
A militant leader died from injuries received during
security operations in Buhriz.
2014-03-31 Mon 19:58:59 cdt