Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain held a public meeting in east London on 13th February 2010 after the conviction of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, attended by up to 200 men and women.
The event was chaired by Atif Salahuddin from Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Pakistan Committee and was addressed by Dr Abdul Wahid, Chair of the Executive Committee Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain and Rizwan Hussain from Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain’s Pakistan Committee.
In his opening remarks Atif Salahuddin observed that Muslims around the world were in shock and disbelief at the brutal treatment of Dr Aafia at the hands of the American government and that Pakistan’s rulers have done nothing to free her. He said the trial, in which people were expected to believe the implausible story that a weak frail woman managed to threaten 9 American troops and fire upon them, was to hide the real questions of how Dr Aafia was kidnapped in Karachi in 2003, spending 5 years in detention before resurfacing in Afghanistan in July 2008, and the unanswered questions about what has happened to two of her children.
Atif added that Muslims were not surprised about how America had tortured Dr Aafia, because this is the same country that had given the world Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition and waterboarding. Moreover, he added that the recent case of Binyam Mohammad showed both America and Britain would lie to cover up clear cases of torture.
Rizwan Hussain scorned the response of the Zardari regime, who left Dr Aafia to her fate, charging that if they really wanted to free Dr Aafia they could have exerted real pressure on America – by cutting its supply lines through Pakistan, closing their bases in Pakistan and stopping all co-operation with them. Rizwan contrasted this response to that of Caliph Mutasim when the Romans dishonoured a Muslim woman, upon learning of her cry for help he dispatched his army to aid her. Rizwan said it was the dictator Musharraf who handed over Dr Aafia to America and the democrat Zardari who now paid lip service, and that it was Pakistan’s political system that is responsible for the production of such spineless slaves to Washington – with both democracy and dictatorship having failed. He said we need to implement what the Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) brought us and that is the Khilafat system, as this was the only way to tackle Pakistan’s growing crisis of price rises, electricity blackouts, political corruption, American attacks and failed leadership he concluded.
Dr Abdul Wahid said that our sister Dr Aafia had been brutally tortured and dishonoured by the Americans and the time had come for Pakistan’s people to join hands with Hizb ut-Tahrir in Pakistan and bring the desperately needed change by re-establishing Khilafat. Dr Abdul Wahid said the Khilafat would immediately seize all Blackwater personnel – who are making war in Pakistan – and hold them as POWs that would not be released unless Dr Aafia was freed. Moreover, he reminded the Muslims that the noble Islamic Shariah prohibited the disgusting treatment of POWs undertaken by Britain and America, who always hypocritically boast about ‘human rights’. The Khilafat would not have dared allow any foreign power to seize any Muslim and would treat such abduction as an act of war, alongside all the other obvious acts of war America has made on Pakistan – like the drone attacks on civilians and the acts of their covert security personnel.
Dr Abdul Wahid rejected that the Khilafat would be caged by an economic embargo by the west explaining that the IMF had already strangled Pakistan with its imposed tax rises and huge interest based loans; the Khilafat would apply Islam’s economic solutions and reject all Western control. Pakistan had huge potential but it was its slavery to America and following corrupt man-made systems that had hampered it. He showed how Pakistan’s rulers had exchanged $7.5 billion in Kerry-Lugar Act for a $35 billion cost of the war on America’s behalf – and how the Khilafat would embark on an Islamic, but independent path to raise capital, and deal with the Ummah’s huge problems of food and fuel prices, load shedding and lack of education and technology.
The speeches were followed by a lengthy question and answer session with many of the audience expressing their deep revulsion and sorrow over the treatment of Dr Aafia and questioning what policies the Caliph would apply when in power. The session closed with a special dua for Dr Aafia and the Ummah.