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AAFIA MOVEMENT

Andrew Purcell clarifies Dr. Aafia's releation with terrorist groups

There are terrorist groups committing mayhem and murder to force the American government to free Aafia. Does this indicate that she has some involvement with them?

No. Look at the record of their support for her.

*2003. Silence when Aafia and her three children were kidnapped by American and Pakistani agents.
*2006. Silence when reports began emerging from Bagram Prison in Afghanistan of a lone woman inmate identified as Aafia Siddiqui being tortured.
*2008. Silence when journalists and human rights advocates produced evidence that Aafia was being held at Bagram Prison.
*2008. Silence when a dazed Aafia was found wandering the streets of Ghazni, Afghanistan.
*2008. Silence when Aafia was shot by American soldiers at the police station in Ghazni.
*2008. Silence when she was dragged still bleeding from gunshot wounds into a New York City courtroom.
*2010. Silence when Aafia was tried and convicted of attempted murder
*2010. Silence when Aafia was sentenced to eighty-six years.
*2010. Silence when shortly after the sentencing a demonstration by Aafia's long-time supporters in Pakistan brought a million people onto the streets of Karachi.

*2011. Al Qaeda makes it's first mention of Aafia Siddiqui. Hooray!
I suppose that this delay is possible because these defenders of Islam and Muslims were dug so deeply into those mountain caves that the news was slow getting to them, but I doubt it. I suspect the prospect of latching on to an issue that could put a million people on the streets had more to do with it.

Aafia's mother insisted that all of her children get the best and the most complete western education they could get. Aafia began her college career at the University of Houston in January 1990. After three semesters she transferred to MIT. After graduating she went to Brandeis and earned her doctorate. Her dissertation was titled "Learning Through Imitation" and it explored ways to make the learning process easier for children with learning disabilities.

There are detractors out there who point to her educational accomplishments as proof that she is some sort of mad scientist, a neuroscientist designing terrible weapons. The fact is that after graduating she turned her complete attention to raising her children. She was a full-time housewife and mother with a couple of fancy degrees.

Aafia and her family are devout Muslims. This does not makes them violent. It means that while I'm visiting them every once in awhile they stop what they are doing and pray. During Ramadan I find myself inadvertently fasting with them. They offer me food and drink but it strikes me as bad manners to eat while those around me are fasting.

The driving theological force in the family seems to have been Aafia's father. Her father is the parent Aafia and her brother and her sister refer to when discussing religious matters. Rather than the fire-breathing off-with-their-heads cliche that is so popular, the Islam he taught his children was so gentle you would have thought he was a Quaker with a funny accent. The Islam he taught them was about the relationship between the individual and God.

If Aafia spent her missing years running around with the Taliban or al-Qaeda or even the Illuminati or the Talamasca she would have found a way to let her mother know that she had the children and they were all okay. Her mother never got that call. I know this because her mother would have told me when she got it. She might not have told me where they were, but she would have told me they were safe. Since Aafia never contacted her mother she must have been held against her will by someone, and the list of suspects is very short.

The American government claims that after divorcing her first husband Aafia married a terrorist who is also the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Muhammed, the man accused of planning the September 11 attacks against New York City and Washington DC. This is false. Again, I have watched the family dynamics for decades and Aafia would not have gotten married without consulting her mother, and her mother would have told me about it.

Do I think Aafia tried to shoot anyone? No.

According to the testimony at Aafia's trial, a group of soldiers and FBI agents spent an hour ransacking an Afghani police station looking for her. Unable to find her they stopped to have tea with the police chief. All two dozen of them moved into a room that measured roughly twenty feet by thirty feet, with tables and chairs. Part of the room hidden by a curtain. One of the soldiers made himself at home, propped his rifle against the wall, sat down, and enjoyed some milk and cookies. Aafia appeared from behind the curtained area, grabbed his unattended rifle, made an obscenity filled anti-American speech, and opened fire on a second soldier. A third soldier returned fire hitting her, and an Afghani translator tackled her and pounded her face into the floor. Aafia continued her obscenity filled anti-American speech until she passed out.
In other words, she put up a better fight than Osama bin-Laden and his bodyguards.

Yeah, right.

Andrew Purcell
Houston, Texas

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