Open Letters


To President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

I am Sharik Rasool –a teenager just turned 20 — from the blood-stained paradise, Kashmir (an open-air prison). Even in such an internationally-accepted reign of trauma and unrest in our land, there does not pass a single day when we are not worried about the well-being of our motivational hub, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Her sentence is a clear example of injustice and “Islamophobia”.

The situation remains unexplained. How could a frail, 90-pound woman — confronted with three US army officers, two interpreters, and two FBI agents — manage to assault three of them; snatch a rifle from one of them; open fire at close range; hit no one — yet she herself remain unwounded? Allah u Akbar!

Quoting Elaine Whitfield — one of Dr. Siddiqui’s lawyers — commenting on her conviction: “This is a very intelligent woman. What is she doing outside of the governor’s residence? The woman is a Ph.D. Is a woman like this really that stupid? There is an incongruity and I have trouble accepting the government’s claims… If she was carrying fluids and was considered dangerous, then why was she left unattended in a room behind a curtain? And this dangerous, hardened criminal picks up a gun and misses?”

OK, let’s pretend — even if she has committed the crime — how on earth is an 86-year imprisonment JUSTICE? How does all this fit this unbelievable crime? So let’s pretend that this incredulous punishment is valid. But what about baby Suleman? What is/was he convicted of? What was/is his fault? This is so pathetic, unacceptable, inhumane, insane. Assaulting a kid? This is how a superpower becomes super?

And why was a Pakistani woman — who supposedly committed a crime in Afghanistan — flown to the US for a trial? Thirteen years of continuous torture, confinement and injustice? Such patience is so hard to find. Tell us about her. We deserve the facts on the history of her whereabouts and wellbeing over this long stretch of time. She is dear to all of us.

What about the boy, Suleman? Did he also fall prey to the vicious, inhumane atrocities of the US? We need to hear — the world wants to hear — for she is the pride of the Muslim Community! She is a priceless Gem to the world! She is an architect of Patience and Resistance! She lives in the heart of every Kashmiri.

I along with my fellow Kashmiris, as for Justice, Justice – for this is what she deserves. All you need to do is be human to understand her Pain. If there was ever a case that illustrated by a fair trial in the USA is all but impossible for someone with her background, Aafia Siddiqui’ must surely be the one. The disgrace, distrust and loss of respect will live on for many decades — cited as one of the cases that finally made people around the world realize that this US Empire is morally bankrupt.