Rabi Al-Awwal 1438 A.H. (December 2016)
Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):
On November 26, 2016, Sr. Ismat Siddiqui, the Mother of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, wrote a touching letter to “First Lady” Michelle Obama. A few days ago I made a request that the letter be made public through a petition drive. In addition to being first and foremost a Mother, Mrs. Obama is an accomplished and highly intelligent intellectual trained in the area of law; and thus, it is only fitting that this petition should come to the attention of the President of the United States through his beloved wife.
Introduction to the Change.Org Petition
The author of this introduction is an African American human rights advocate. I’ve been doing human rights work in America for over 25 years, and needless to say, I have seen and experienced much over the course of this time.
One of the most disturbing cases to come to my attention is the case of a young Pakistani woman by the name of Aafia Siddiqui. Dr. Siddiqui came to the US as an 18 year old student in 1990. She graduated with honors from MIT and Brandeis, with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience. In addition to her academic prowess, her commitment to her faith (Islam) led her on the path of volunteerism for a number of noble causes.
In addition to the recognition and praise that she received for her extracurricular activity, a cloud of suspicion formed over the head of this exceptional young woman (Post 9/11). When she returned home in 2002 – after 12 exceptionally fruitful years in the US – that suspicion, based on bad “intelligence,” led to her being targeted for a rendition operation carried out by American and Pakistani agents. Dr. Siddiqui was kidnapped (with her three young children in March 2003) and disappeared for the next five years. In 2008 she was returned to the United States barely clinging to life, and was later put on trial for a manufactured offense.
Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark has described the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui as “the worst case of individual injustice I have ever witnessed.” This writer wholeheartedly agrees with that assessment. Our hope is that President Barack H. Obama – via The Mother to Mother Appeal that follows – will use his powers to end this nightmare before he leaves office.
A special note of thanks to our Sr. Hena for getting the petition up on the Change.org platform; please share this petition (via the link below) with as many people of good will as possible!
In the struggle for peace thru justice,
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
The Mother-To-Mother Petition: