Friday, January 25, 2013

Algerian Kidnappers Misuse Aafia's Name...

( The following is from the official site kept up-to-date with clear information in both English and Urdu by Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's family.  Please go to for much more.  Find there complete archives as well as scholarly and legal information and links.  The statement below is crucial as the family brings light once again to misuse of info and clearly false assumptions concerning Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.  Such careless journalism were misused during Aafia's trial and are still planting seeds of rumor. )

January 19, 2013
Now some people will make their own claims about what Aafia thinks and with whom she associates. The reality and facts don't even get a mention.So once again, terrorists, murderers and kidnappers have chosen to hide their crimes behind the name of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Not the woman. Not the mother. Just the name.
We are here to set the record straight. We are Aafia's family. We are speaking for her. With every atom of our hearts and souls we condemn this evil, and we pray to God that the suffering of the victims are eased just as we pray for Aafia.
In the fall of 2010, after being sentenced to eighty-six years in prison for a crime she did not commit, Aafia spoke to the public for only the second time since she and her three small children were kidnapped by Pakistani agents and turned over to representatives of the United States government in 2003.
She spoke of forgiving the judge, and the people who had wronged her and her family, and asked that no violence be done in her name.
Several months later senior members of al-Qaeda made statements demanding her freedom. Now we can add their buddies in Algeria to the list.
None of them had mentioned her before. Not when she and her children were kidnapped in 2003. Not when reports began to emerge in 2006 from the bowels of Bagram Prison in Afghanistan about the lone female inmate whose cries haunted all who heard them. Not in 2008 when the name Prisoner 650 was applied to this specter.
Did they speak out when a disoriented Aafia was found wandering the streets of Ghazni, Afghanistan, or when she was shot a day later by panicking American soldiers?
No. They just didn't care. They didn't care until they discovered that a lot of Muslims did. They saw Muslims marching in the streets in the tens of thousands demanding her release. By joining the chorus they are hoping that no one has noticed their absence, and by associating her name with their acts of violence they hope to borrow Aafia's moral stature as their own, making this their claim as the leaders of the Muslim world.
It doesn't work this way any more. These people do not realize that their day is over. Their indiscriminate campaign of murder and mayhem has disgusted all but the tiniest minority. They have failed.
Cases like Aafia's generate great support and emotional involvement because the suffering she has endured can't be ignored. Her story touches anyone with a conscience and those are the emotions that extremists like to exploit.
One tragic result of this event is that once opportunists have committed violence in her name a taboo will have been broken and we will see more of this as some people lose faith in our appeal to reason.
We condemn this violence. It is abhorrent to us. It violates everything we have been taught by our parents, God, and his prophets.
Those of us who know and love Aafia can tell you that she would be distraught if she knew that there are people bragging about this murder and mayhem and using her name to justify it. She would also be praying for the victims and their families. Aafia is one of too many people around the world who understands the toll that injustice demands from all of us.

Aafia Siddiqui: Updates from her family

( Please go to the official site for more detailed information: )

New Year Message from the Family of Dr Aafia

Dec 31, 2012
A Message of Thanks from the Family of Aafia...
We send our thanks and prayers to all of our friends around the world for everything you have done for Aafia.
2012 marked nine years in chains for Aafia, but the movement to free her made huge gains. International support for the Free Aafia campaign has expanded to include groups in two dozen countries. Support for Aafia is nearly universal in Pakistan despite the government's limitations on press coverage, especially in the English language media, and several official "protective" roadblocks.
Some of you marched peacefully with thousands of other people on to the streets to demand her freedom. Some of you sent Aafia a postcard telling her that you love her, that you believe her, and that you are praying for her and her family. Some of you raised money. Some of you gave your time. Many of you prayed. Many of you were there among the thousands who joined the "Caravan of Dignity" (Karwan-e-Ghairat) rallies.
You proved that a quilt of interfaith harmony can be a powerful weapon against injustice as Aafia was remembered at Ashura, Ramadan, Naurooz, Easter, Holi, Diwali and Christmas, united under a banner demanding that our common humanity be recognized everywhere.
All of you are part of our family in a way that we can't explain but we will always be grateful for.
Below are some of the notable events of 2012.
A fatwa from a senior religious body in Makkah, Saudi Arabia is made public calling for support for securing Aafia's freedom. It is censored in the Pakistani media and Saudi officials asked the family not to make a public issue of it. Pakistani agencies have repeated this message to us and added "or else".
On February 10th a large peaceful rally near the US consulate in Karachi was violently assaulted. In the unprovoked attack coordinated by Pakistani and foreign security personnel using water cannons and baton charges, several people were seriously hurt and needed hospitalization including Aafia's sister, Dr. Fauzia and Altaf Shakoor. Our sources told us that the slogan "86 years=Bullshit" that had been displayed at an earlier demonstration offended someone in the consulate who demanded retribution.
Far from silencing us, it brought us an international spotlight and became a catalyst for a major series of events across South Africa. This kicked off a successful campaign which has now multiple active chapters with new ones opening in neighboring African countries. (more here)
The ninth anniversary of the kidnapping of Aafia and her three children is marked by candlelight vigils and rallies across fifteen countries including a vigil outside the United States' embassy in London, a rally outside the Federal Courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas, just a few miles from where Aafia is being held at Carswell Prison, and a large demonstration outside the US consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa(more here)
For several years the Pakistani TV channel ARY has made a tradition of dedicating their Mother's Day morning show to Dr. Aafia and her children. A worldwide audience watched Ahmed and Maryam as they continue their journey from trauma to normalcy. (video here)
On this same occasion we were also reminded of the baby Suleman who was only 6 months old when abducted. His fate remains a mystery. Little interest is shown by Pakistan's authorities. As one official said to our family, "He was just a Pakistani kid - who cares?" *(Ahmad and Maryam were born in the United States and are American citizens. Suleman, born in Pakistan, was just a Pakistani kid.) (more here)
An Independence Day campaign to send tens of thousands of cards to the White House was launched and over 50,000 were mailed world wide.
As our successes grew, the shadowy security agencies were not idle. A malicious rumor of Aafia's death was spread. Aafia is kept is total isolation and had no contact with family or even lawyers so we were in no position to verify. This was eventually proven to be nothing more than a spiteful response to the campaign directed at Aafia's elderly mother.
During the Ramadan, two significant developments occurred. The American government confirmed that the Pakistani government had never made a formal request for Aafia's repatriation and so the United States could take no action. This exposed the complicity of some highly placed Pakistani authorities in keeping Aafia locked up. (more here)
The second development was perhaps the most dramatic of this entire ordeal. Aafia spoke. Her own words. Her own voice. A video from 1991 of nineteen year old Aafia giving a talk on the Role of Women in Islam appeared on YouTube. The video garnered 100,000 views in days, despite a news media black out by Pakistani, Turkish, and Arab TV stations. While acknowledging its authenticity, "editorial" decisions prevented the video from being broadcast or even mentioned. (video here)
Former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark visited Pakistan. He described Aafia's imprisonment and the underlying premise as unjustifiable and called the American system in this case "unfair" and terming Aafia's trial "illegal". (more here)
Former United States Senator Mike Gravel visited Pakistan to emphasize that this was purely a political case and its solution lay in the political arena. He urged action, making the famous comment, "If the Pakistani government took serious action, Aafia could be home in two days". (more here)
A delegation of US antiwar groups led by UNAC and Code Pink came to Pakistan to protest the evils of the "collateral damage" of the war on terror, including the drone attacks and the case of Dr. Aafia. (more here)
Former United States Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and International Action Center (IAC) director Sara Flounders visited Pakistan and spent a "Free Aafia Week" across Pakistan, again highlighting the inaction on the part of the Pakistani government. (more here)
Our campaign websites were hacked and selective data damaged. Aafia's sister was detained multiple times and her family threatened. Her livelihood placed at risk when her clinic, one of the few in Pakistan that treats epilepsy, was targeted under the guise of "extortion".
Also in 2012, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, the foreign minister for the former military dictator Pervez Musharaf, admitted in his infamous tweet: "I'm so sorry for handing over the innocent @DrAafiaSiddiqui to the Americans. It was my biggest mistake ever!.Khurshi Kasuri"
Not surprisingly, after this tweet went viral, Mr. Kasuri removed it, but he has not repudiated it either.
And these are just the highlights!
By God's grace, 2012 was eventful and has set the stage for more in 2013. We are energized by the success of so many events and the growing international support.
We wish all sincere supporters a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2013...
Christian Youth Seeks Aafia Release as Xmas Gift

Dec 20, 2012
A young Pakistani Christian boy asks US President Obama to Release Dr. Aafia as a special Christmas gift.
For video of the boy's emotional plea and full prayer services, link here or click on picture...
pak christian wish for xmas-12
christian plea on xmas-12
Threats, a Bullet and HarassmentPDFPrintE-mail
12 Dec 2012
Following the successful conclusion of the FeeAafia Week set of events, Dr. Fauzia, the sister of Dr. Aafia received several threats from the same source and a demand for ransom or face death. (See reports below)
At the same time Dr. Fauzia was being threatened, Ms. Cynthia McKinney was harassed and detained by an "Indian" agent and US federal agents upon her return to Atlanta, GA. (story here).
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tribune_ 121212_threats to foziaexpress news_121212-fozia threat

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Messiah is at the gates of Rome, sitting among the poor...

Like them, Messiah changes the bindings of his wounds, but you will recognize him because he binds only one wound at a time, in order to be ready at a moment’s notice when the Holy One sends him forth to heal the world

The Shalom Report

Today! – If you will listen to the voice of God, crying out –

What is the meaning of “Today”? At one level, Today is the last day of the civil year 2012 (may the next year be more civil than the last one!)...

What is the deeper spiritual meaning of “Today!”? ...Any loving act ...that honors...Beloved Community....and honors...The time when all cultures and communities recognize in their sacred differences...refractions of the Infinite...Each culture seeing itself and all the others potentially a distinctive, necessary part of a cultural eco-system... part of the great interwoven flow of life upon this planet, and will act to heal the wounds of Earth.

For the task of “Messiah” is to bind all wounds and heal them for a fuller life. Even at the gates of Imperial Rome – especially at the gates of Empire.

I, Connie (blogger) took the above excerpt from this fuller text:

The Talmud tells this story: Rabbi Joshua ben Levi, who lived in the first half of the third century, was visited by the Prophet Elijah. (According to legend, Elijah never died but was carried up to Heaven in a fiery chariot. He often visited the ancient Rabbis in the guise of a wise old man who gave them spiritual guidance. Elijah is supposed to return in a fuller way to announce the coming of the Messiah.)

When will Messiah come?” asked Joshua. “Ask him,” replied the Prophet. “The Messiah is at the gates of Rome, sitting among the poor, the sick, the wretched who have been deeply wounded by Imperial Rome. Like them, Messiah changes the bindings of his wounds, but you will recognize him because he binds only one wound at a time, in order to be ready at a moment’s notice when the Holy One sends him forth to heal the world.”

So Rabbi Joshua went to Rome, recognized the Messiah, and asked, “When will you be coming?” Messiah said, “Today!”

Joshua went back to Elijah and said that the Messiah had not told him the truth, because he had promised to come today but had not. Elijah explained, “This is what he said to thee, ‘To-day, if ye will listen to God’s Voice!’ ” (A quotation from Psalms 95:7)

So any loving act on any day, any act that responds to the Call that comes from the Breath of Life, may be “Today!” Any loving act that honors the Voice of Unity helps to bring what we might call the planetary Beloved Community. The time when all cultures and communities recognize in their sacred differences not lies and enmity but refractions of the Infinite – each one a crucial aspect of the human species as the liver and the heart and the brain and the big toe are distinctive parts of the one body. Each culture seeing itself and all the others potentially a distinctive, necessary part of a cultural eco-system. The Beloved Community when all human cultures will also see themselves as part of the great interwoven flow of life upon this planet, and will act to heal the wounds of Earth.

For the task of “Messiah” is to bind all wounds and heal them for a fuller life. Even at the gates of Imperial Rome – especially at the gates of Empire, for in every generation some new version of Imperial Rome wounds us again and again – we must do the work of healing. Not only “he,” not only “she,” but you and me. I and Thou. All of us.