Sunday, March 13, 2016

International Women's Day Rally for Dr. Aafia at MIT March 8, Boston

Our America: Boston

On March 8, International Women's Day,  a Rally was held  for Dr. Aafia at MIT where she Studied. 


Photo of Aafia rally. Sis. Karin speaking [right].

Among the numerous Speakers was Sis. Karin. This is what she said: 
"My name is Karin Friedemann also known as Maria Hussain. I was an active member of the Muslim Students' Association at Wayne State University [Detroit]. serving as Publication Secretary from 1995-1996.I did not know Dr. Aafia Siddiqui but she was an activist at MIT around the same time as me.
Dr. Aafia's sincere and humble enthusiasm for promoting Women's rights in Islam - the Rights of Muslim women to Education, to earn and keep their own money, as well as the protection of Motherhood. She argued that a woman must be educated in order to be the best mother for her children, because an ignorant mother would raise ignorant children. 
Dr. Aafia also cared deeply about the suffering of Muslims in war torn areas around the world. She viewed the Global Muslim Community as one body. And if even one small part of the body is in pain, the entire body cannot sleep. [Hadith.] This point of view that emphasized empathy and action has since been demonized by the powers that be, causing many good people to live in fear. 
However, during the 1990's, Muslims in America experienced a sense of self-confidence, idealism and freedom that can even be compared to the 1960's. American Muslims were filled with faith in themselves and the hope that we could make the world a better place. 
With this level of enthusiasm, Dr. Aafia told the Boston Globe during Islamic Awareness Week that, "If Americans were to learn about the beauty of Islam, they would all want to become Muslims!" 
Dr. Aafia and I were also both very active in the Muslim Students' Association, raising awareness about the wars in Bosnia and Chechnya. I feel a deep sisterhood with her because we both went door to door collecting boots and winter gear to send to Bosnia, where many people were made homeless by the war. Both of us collected so many donations that boxes were stacked to the ceiling in the Muslim Students' prayer hall, leaving hardly any room to walk, inspiring many brothers to drive vans full of donations to the charity foundation in Chicago, from where the boots etc. would be shipped by container load to Bosnia.
Nobody knows exactly why Dr. Aafia Siddique was targeted by US 'intelligence' to be abducted and disappeared, but her student activism may have played a role, to send American Muslims, and Muslims in America, a chilling message. That they are not considered equal citizens, that they are not granted Constitutional freedom of speech or free travel. That Muslims are not free to do fundraising campaigns, that their charities would be closed down and their assets frozen if they tried to participate in political activism or humanitarian projects. 
After 2001, Islam in America entered a dark period in history from which we have not yet emerged. It even seems that the forces of hate and destruction are growing more entrenched in the US political establishment and media.
There is one thing we can do to turn things around and bring us back to a time when Muslims didn't have to be afraid to get on an airplane or afraid to donate money to a political cause. We can and we must free Dr. Aafia Siddiqui . We must show the world that Muslims in the US are equal citizens that should enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of travel, freedom to promote their beliefs, just as any other group is free to promote their interests and their beliefs and to donate money to causes they care about. 
We need to demonstrate that it's not acceptable for the US government to kidnap people and hold them for years in secret prisons being raped and tortured, without any charge against them. The America that I am working for is not one that makes an example out of student activists by concocting contrived allegations of terrorism against them. Our country's freedom and integrity requires that we free Aafia." 

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