An Open Letter to the “Islamic State”

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):

On March 16, 2003, a committed young (only 23) American activist by the name of Rachel Corrie was murdered in cold blood by an Israeli soldier, while she attempted to non-violently prevent the destruction of a Palestinian family’s home in Rafah (Palestine). It has come to my attention that another young (26 years old) American woman was allegedly kidnapped on August 4, 2013, by members of ISIS while engaged in humanitarian relief work in Turkey and Syria. From what I’ve learned of this dedicated young woman, she is cut from the same human cloth as Rachel Corrie.

It is my understanding that she is a human rights activist who has protested against rendition, torture, America’s use of drones, and she begged family and friends to do what they could to urge the US government to intervene in a way that would help the suffering people of Syria (especially the millions of vulnerable refugees).

At the time of her abduction; she had gone into Aleppo to assist a project at an area hospital. She was abducted outside the hospital, along with her Syrian friend who has since been released. It is my understanding that she was initially given a life sentence in retaliation for the 86 year sentence imposed by the US Government on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Then, on July 12th, 2014, ISIS informed her family that she would be executed in 30 days if: (a) Aafia was not released, or (b) the family did not come up with a ransom of five million euros.

If I had the chance to address her captors I would ask them to consider the following:

  1. The Noble Qur’an and Prophetic Sunnah disallow the deliberate killing of civilian non-combatants, especially women and children.
  2. Deliberately engaging in actions on the battlefield that violate “the limits” established by The Noble Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah (i.e. Islamic Shariah) removes ALLAH’s barakah (blessings) from the actions taken. As Sheikh ibn Taymeeyah correctly stated: “Civilization is based on justice, and the consequences of oppression are devastating. Therefore it is said ALLAH aids the just State, even if it is non-Muslim; and withholds His help from the oppressive State, even if it is Muslim.”
  3. To murder an innocent young woman, who willingly put herself in harm’s way to non-violently assist other human beings (who happen to be Muslim), would make her killers no better than the murderous regime (Zionist Israel) who took the life of Rachel Corrie in 2003 (and countless others since)! Do you really want to be part of that fraternity?

I end with a message from the family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who were shocked and saddened when this tragedy was brought to their attention.

El-Hajj Mauri’ Saalakhan
Director Operations
The Peace Thru Justice Foundation

The Family of Aafia calls for Mercy and Compassion

The Family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is very distraught at the disturbing report [of the abduction of name omitted]. If the issue is true, we would like to state that our family does not have any connections to such groups or actions. We believe in a struggle that is peaceful and dignified. Associating Aafia’s name with acts of violence is against everything we are struggling for.

Cases like Aafia’s generate great support and emotional involvements because the suffering she has been put through and continues to endure can’t be ignored. A growing and tragic result of Aafia’s continued detention is that our appeals to reason and avoidance of violence are being ignored as people lose faith in the efficacy of those means, and we see them expressing their anger in a manner that neither us nor Aafia would endorse.

So, to those who have influence in the fate of Ms. [name omitted] we ask that they opt for a path of mercy and demonstrate by their actions to those who hold Aafia that mercy yields greater success, like the Sunna of our holy prophet. While we deeply appreciate the sincere feelings of those who, like us, wish to see the freedom of our beloved Aafia, we cannot agree with a “by any means necessary” approach to Aafia’s freedom. Nor can we accept that someone else’s daughter or sister suffer like Aafia is suffering.

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 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 imposes upon all of us.

Let us do our part to put an end to these cycles of pain and bloodshed. Let us show those who have military might that mercy and forgiveness is even more powerful. We pray that both establishments will do their part, and that both innocent women will be set free; not in exchange, not as ransom, but simply because it is the right and honourable thing to do.

The blessed are those who avoid the greater crimes and shameful deeds, and when they are angry even then forgive (Holy Koran, 42:37)

But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs. (Holy Koran, 42:43)

The Family of Aafia Siddiqui

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