Open Letter for Operation Redemption

An Open Letter to Muslims in America regarding Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

The campaign for her release and repatriation, and our own spiritual and psychological redemption

The word redemption is loaded with meaning. It encompasses the act of redeeming oneself, and/or the state of being redeemed. To redeem is to recover something of value by discharging an obligation. According to Webster, it means “to ransom, free or rescue by paying a price.” It also signifies making good on a promise (to fulfill) and to atone – another interesting verb that signifies making amends, or to expiate.

March 30, 2013, will mark 10 years since Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and her three young children (ages 6, 4, and six months) disappeared in Karachi, Pakistan by agents of the Pakistani and American governments. It was March 30, 2003. Five years later (2008) a barely alive Aafia Siddiqui would be brought to the United States to begin 2 ½ years of pre-trial confinement that would be even more oppressive than what was imposed upon the young American soldier accused of leaking classified documents to Wikileaks (Bradley Manning).

Aafia’s oldest children Ahmed and Maryam (American citizens by birth) would be returned to the family home in Karachi in 2008 and 2010, respectively. The youngest child, Suleman, remains unaccounted for to this very day!

As recorded in Sahihs Bukhari and Muslim, the Prophet (peace be upon him) reportedly said, “You will observe that the believers are like parts of the body in relation to each other in matters of kindness, love and affection. When one part of the body is afflicted, the entire body feels it; there is a loss of sleep and a fever develops.” In another hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (pbuh) reportedly said: “Whoever removes a worldly grief from a believer, ALLAH will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment. Whoever alleviates the lot of a needy person, ALLAH will alleviate his lot in this world and the next. Whoever shields a Muslim, ALLAH will shield him in this world and the next. ALLAH will aid a servant [of His] so long as the servant aids his brother.”

The seal of the Prophets (Mohammed ibn Abdullah, pbuh) also reportedly said: “A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim; he neither oppresses him, nor does he fail him.”

And also, “None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother [which also includes his sister] what he wishes for himself.” – source, Sahih Bukhari and Muslim

And finally, in one of the most well-known and often quoted ahadith in the Muslim tradition, the Prophet (pbuh) reportedly said: “When you see an evil action you must change it with your hand; if you cannot do so, with your tongue [the jihad of the tongue]; if you cannot do so, detest it within your heart…that is the weakest degree of faith.” – source, Sahih Muslim

To say Muslim leaders and well established Muslim organizations in America (generally speaking) have failed to measure up to this high standard – especially as it pertains to the human rights challenges that are symbolized by this Muslim woman’s case – would be an understatement. But every day of new life also affords a new opportunity.

It is also recorded in both Bukhari and Muslim that the Last Messenger of ALLAH stated, “When a person repents, God’s pleasure at this is even greater than that of one who dismounts from his camel, loses it in the desert, and then finds it again all of a sudden.”

In this New Year of the Muslim Hijri calendar (1434 AH), we invite committed Muslims in America to join us in an intensive three month initiative that will officially begin on December 30, 2012, and run through March 30, 2013, culminating in three major mobilizations: one in WASHINGTON, DC and the others in FORT WORTH, TX.

We have named this initiative Operation Redemption because it will provide committed Muslims in America – especially Muslim MEN – with an opportunity for us to redeem ourselves on this extremely important, precedent-setting case, and the equally important peripheral issues that surround it!

May ALLAH (SWT) bless this effort, and all those who positively respond to it. Ameen.

In the struggle for peace thru justice,
El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
7 Safar 1434 A.H. (December 20, 2012)

Special Note:

Over the course of this three month consciousness-raising process, in support and defense of our sister, our plans have been slightly but very importantly modified. Initially, we were planning to do an action in New York City in the middle of March, but that has been tabled (for now); the first action will now take place in Washington, DC on March 8 (“International Women’s Day”). Everything else remains the same.