Around 450 Muslim women from cities across the UK gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission in London on Saturday 20th February to protest at the horrific abuse and sham trial suffered by the scientist, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui at the hands of the US government.
They also expressed their outrage and disgust at the criminal neglect of the Zardari government over her case and its complicity in the horrendous ordeal that she suffered.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain delivered the first talk. She began by highlighted the appalling details of Dr. Aafia’s torture and rape at the hands of US prison guards while being detained in Bagram, the American base in Afghanistan. She also highlighted how following her extradition to the US in 2008, she faced a sham trial, tried on prejudice and fear towards Muslims and built on lies rather than uncovering the truth of her abuse at the hands of Pakistani and US security forces.
She emphasised that Dr. Aafia’s ordeal was yet another example of US democracy at work. That it was a reflection of a system that had gained notoriety for trading in abductions, secret detentions and torture to secure political aims and renown for dispensing with principles of justice, rule of law, and human rights if the price was right. She argued that Western capitalist democracy should be on trial rather than Dr. Aafia.
Dr. Nawaz then highlighted how the Zardari government had turned its back on Dr. Aafia and betrayed not only her but hundreds of other Pakistani citizens handed over to the Americans in return for a flow of dollars into the country. She questioned what kind of leadership would sell one of its own daughters for financial gain or surrender its own judicial process to a foreign state.
She ended by stating that the Muslims of Pakistan deserve better than self-driven opportunistic politicians or corrupt political systems – whether democracies or dictatorships – that have demonstrated time and again to have failed their people. She stressed that the Muslims of Pakistan deserved a system that sincerely cared for its citizens, that refuses to be manipulated by foreign powers, and that would truly protect its people, its land, its resources and establish security in Pakistan and across the Muslim world. She argued that this system was the Islamic Khilafah state. She concluded by demanding the Zardari government cease its cooperation with the US, that Dr. Aafia and her children be released, and that the army of Pakistan give their support to the establishment of the Khilafah that would return honour to their uniform and honour to the Muslims of Pakistan.
Shazia Akhtarthen addressed the crowd and Umm Adil, member of Hizb ut-Tahrir then gave a motivational translation of both talks in Urdu, where she asked the gathering to support the work of Hizb ut-Tahrir in creating real change in Pakistan through the establishment of the Khilafah.
The event ended with dua for the release of Dr. Aafia and her children as well as to relieve the plight of Muslims globally. Following the protest, a letter was delivered by women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain to the Pakistan Ambassador, Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hasan regarding Dr. Aafia’s case.