In 1997, Anwar wanted to go after a senior minister, who had been colluding with local authorities to alienate land in Johor, Kedah, Langkawi and Sepang. Of course TUN MAHATHIR won’t have this happen to the then UMNO treasurer. In the 90s, the ACA and the AG opined that there was a case against Rafidah over the allocation of shares to her son-in-law. TUN MAHATHIR stopped the proposed prosecution. In the late 90s, the Director-General of the EPU was “caught” with a rather large bundle of cash in his office drawer by the ACA. Again, TUN MAHATHIR said “no” to the proposed prosecution.What would be different if the MACC had been in place at those times ?

This book does the worthy task of separating the highly charged and pervasive rhetoric about these women from the complexities that rarely surface in the mainstream media. It highlights Ali’s disconnect from her family and how the story she relates of her past is different in their memories. It points to the conflicting statements made by Siddiqui and her family about her children and her whereabouts during the five years she was missing. 

Each short chapter in the book alternates between the Ali’s and Siddiqui’s stories roughly chronologically. Scroggins delves into Ali’s family background, her father’s role as a Somali revolutionary, Ali’s brief flirtation with Islam, her two brief marriages (of which the latter facilitated her passage to Holland), and her rise to political and intellectual stardom in the West. Alongside her story, Scroggins relates Siddiqui’s family’s orthodox Deobandi background and strong political ties with the Zia regime, her education as a neuroscientist in the U.S., and her first marriage and divorce. She explores, in great detail, Siddiqui’s association with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and marriage to his nephew, the multiple and conflicting perspectives about her disappearance for five years, the shooting incident in Ghazni, Afghanistan, her arrest, and her eventual sentencing to life in federal prison.

Reading about these two women’s lives in a parallel fashion is hardly a comfortable experience. I often found myself so engrossed in one woman’s story that I was reluctant to make the switch to the other. The difference becomes especially pronounced in the second half of the book because of the impossibility of narrating their stories in the same fashion. While Hirsi’s life is shaped by mainly ideological and political battles involving the Dutch government, her media appearances, and her relations with her family, Siddiqui’s is mired in a web of conspiracy, association with jihadi groups, confusion about her whereabouts, and passionate pleas on her behalf by figures such as Yvonne Ridley.

As creative and jarring as the pairing of these stories is, it begs the question: how are these women comparable? As Scroggins points out in the conclusion of the book, there is an indisputable difference between a woman who provokes through words and a woman who actively partakes in violence. However, both Ali and Siddiqui insist that a clash of civilizations is inevitable, and it is impossible for “Western” ideals and Islam to coexist. Scroggins also does an excellent job of demonstrating how their perceived roles instigate a clash of civilizations, making their forebodings grotesquely self-fulfilling prophecies. Were it not for Ayaan Hirsi Ali creating the highly provoking film Submission, the gruesome murder of Theo Van Gogh would not have occurred and so deeply affirmed Ali’s statements about the impossibility of assimilation. Aafia Siddiqui’s insistence on the Western war on Islam becomes expounded in her supporters’ fiery rhetoric surrounding her alleged secret imprisonment and torture.

As I read the book, I was reminded of a point made by Melissa Harris Perry during her discussion with Leila Ahmed and Mona Eltahawy: as an academic, she loves nuance, but as a media personality, she knows firsthand that it is the loud, radical, controversial ideas and action that get heard. This trend makes it all the more important to read in-depth accounts about figures such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Aafia Siddiqui, whose extreme perspectives cause uproars and obscure the details surrounding their lives and actions.

This an excellent book for anyone who seeks a more informed understanding of these women and what they came to represent in a post-9/11 highly polarized environment. It also provides a way of examining how the biases opinions that exist about Siddiqui and Ali have been shaped by the emotions these women usually provoke in both their supporters and opposition.

Aafia Siddiqui has been a victim from that fateful moment when she was kidnapped, and sent to Afghanistan–where she was brutally tortured. Her family also faced horrendous pain. A prejudiced jury has now pronounced her guilt–guilty of a crime of shooting at a marine–when there were no bullet holes, and no fingerpring on the gun–the frail MIT graduate has been pronounced guilty of attacking several armed males, somehow snatching their gun and then shooting at them–when she had no clue about guns.

Hopefully she will will the case on appeal.
NEW YORK: Aafia Siddiqui, the Pakistani neuroscientist, was found guilty of attempted murder charges on all seven counts listed in the complaint against her. She was tried on charges of trying to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan on July 28, 2008.
However, the jury did not find her guilty on any pre-meditated murder charge. According to her lawyer, Ms Siddiqui could be given a sentence of up to 35 years.
After the jury left the room Aafia Siddiqui, who was inside, shouted: “I know this is not the verdict of American people, I know where it is coming from.”
Elaine Sharp, a defence attorney, came out of the court room to tell reporters that Ms Siddiqui had asked her to request the people of Pakistan to remain calm and that she has faith in the Almighty.
Charles Swift, the lead defence attorney, said after the verdict that “I have faith in American justice system. We will appeal the verdict. I completely disagree with the verdict given”.
Sentencing will be carried out on May 6, Mr Swift said. According to an attorney familiar with the case, Ms Siddiqui’s own testimony against the advice of her attorney’s could have contributed to her conviction.
AFP adds: The trial has drawn widespread attention because it is the most advanced in a string of current cases being handled by US prosecutors in what is frequently referred to as the “war on terror”. Several other suspects in alleged bomb plots are working their way through the system.
Before adjourning Tuesday afternoon, the jury went over the testimonies of Ms. Siddiqui, Captain Robert Snyder of US Army, who accused her of picking an unsecured gun and firing two shots; FBI Special Agent Gordon Hurley, who was first to inspect the crime scene; and two Afghan police officers — Abdul Qadeer and Bashir.
The jurors also examined the M-4 rifle that Ms. Siddiqui is alleged to have brandished at US personnel.
Before the jury went into deliberation on Monday, Defence lawyer Charles Swift said the group must consider facts as against fear, which the prosecution sought to create by portraying Ms. Siddiqui, a frail woman, as some sort of a commando threatening the US.
He said there was no physical evidence that the M-4 rifle had ever been fired, since no bullets, shell casings or bullet fragments were recovered and no high-velocity bullet holes detected.
Also, there was no evidence that the M-4 was ever fired. No gunpowder residue was found on fabrics or clothing, he added.
Human rights groups had declared Ms Siddiqui missing for five years before the incident in July, when she was arrested outside the Governor’s office in Ghazni.
Her lawyers have said she may be a victim of torture and believe she was kidnapped with her children in March 2003 in Karachi and secretly held in custody for the past five years reportedly at Bagram air base near Kabul.



NEW YORK: Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI has shifted Doctor Aafiya Siddiqui to New York where she would be produce in front of court and could get 20 years of imprisonment in accusation of attacking on American Army officers. While Pakistan has sought counselor access to the detained doctor
Aafia Siddiqui, 36, a Pakistani and former U.S. resident, was arrested July 17 by police in Ghazni province, Afghanistan, the attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael Garcia, said in a statement.
At the time of her arrest Siddiqui was carrying inside her handbag documents on how to make explosives and descriptions of various U.S. landmarks, including in New York City, Garcia said, citing the complaint filed in Manhattan federal court.
36 years old Dr Aafiya Siddiqui is educated from America, she has been missing since 2003 and different assumptions have been assumed on her missing.
In 2004 US Attorney General John Ashcroft and Director FBI Robert Muller had included her name among the list of Al-Qaida member who were most wanted by FBI.
Talking to a private TV, Dr Aafiya’s sister Doctor Fouzia Siddiqui has said that her sister’s life is in danger and all the allegations are baseless because a single allegation has not yet been proven against her and she appealed to Government of Pakistan to help her sister and bring her Pakistan.
Meanwhile Pakistani ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani has filed a request with the US authorities seeking counselor access to Dr Aafia.
Memanwhile Accusing US forces of secretly holding Aafia Siddiqui for last five years, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui Tuesday said her sister is innocent and accused US forces of secretly holding her for the last five years.
Sister of Aafia Siddiqui, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui expressed these views amid tears in a crowded press conference on Tuesday in Karachi Press Club.
On the occasion was present Chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Iqbal Haider.
Dr Fauzia Siddiqui urged Government of Pakistan, Human Rights Organization, Political Circles and others to take gigantic steps to save her sister.
“What a mockery that after five years in detention Aafia is suddenly discovered in Afghanistan,” Fauzia Siddiqui who was literally in cries told the press conference.
“I decided to break my silence to say that one is innocent until proven guilty. My sister is innocent and has never been actually accused of any crime,” Fauzia pointed.
Responding to a question, weeping sister said that Aafia was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announce that they have found her in Afghanistan, which shows how they abused their power and tortured an innocent woman without committing any crime.
The family has no news of Siddiqui’s three children, who went missing with her, she stressed.
Fauzia Siddiqui also said the family had received death threats warning them not to talk about the case.
“Our lives are in serious danger,” she told the press conference.
“We are receiving threats through phone calls and SMS not to discuss or pursue Aafia’s case. I do not know who are the people threatening us,” she maintained.
In another question, Fauzia said that all the allegations leveled on her sister are totally baseless. But, I count on you, the people in the media, to be the independent voice of reason when some people in the corridors of power say they have a person locked in cell for five years because they are guilty of a crime to DEMAND the evidence, and to presume the person is innocent. This is a story of much greater significance than just my sister or one woman. Her rape and torture is a crime beyond anything she was ever accused of (which was basically nothing) and this is a slap on the honor of a whole people. The perpetrators of those crimes are the ones who need to be brought to account. That is the real crime of terror here, furious Fauzia held. On the other hand, Iqbal Haider, Secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said the charges were “false and fabricated” and called for Aafia Siddiqui to be tried by an independent tribunal.
“We demand that Aafia’s trial should not take place in Guantanamo Bay. We demand that Aafia’s relations be allowed immediate access to her,” Haider told news conference.
Siddiqui studied at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and vanished in 2003 while visiting relatives in Karachi, Pakistan
Deja vu in sodomy chargeThe ‘Sodomy 2.0′ version unfolded on June 28 when PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s 23-year-old former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan lodged a police report. He claimed to have been sodomised by Anwar in a condominium in Damansara.

 In 1997, Anwar wanted to go after a senior minister, who had been colluding with local authorities to alienate land in Johor, Kedah, Langkawi and Sepang. Of course TUN MAHATHIR won’t have this happen to the then UMNO treasurer. In the 90s, the ACA and the AG opined that there was a case against Rafidah over the allocation of shares to her son-in-law. TUN MAHATHIR stopped the proposed prosecution. In the late 90s, the Director-General of the EPU was “caught” with a rather large bundle of cash in his office drawer by the ACA. Again, TUN MAHATHIR said “no” to the proposed prosecution.What would be different if the MACC had been in place at those times ?readmore


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