I won’t propagate against or for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s case but as it got me thinking and penning down these thoughts, I have to build my case around her and the tragedy that took place.
Essentially, all I know about her is that she was a Neuroscientist, a married woman, a social worker in post-US infiltrated Afghanistan and a mother to three children.
As per Wikipedia, criminal charges against her include a) assault and attempted murder of U.S. nationals, officers, and employees; b) Assault with a deadly weapon; and c) Carrying and using a firearm
Well, a woman who weighs 90 pounds, 5.4” tall and comes from academic background fought with US officials, snatched their weaponry and shot them…Seriously? I would strongly suggest that US officials to include more manly personnel in their team instead of men who fail to handle a woman who weighs less than an average ramp model!
Also, every third household in Pakistan is known to own, whether legally or illegally, weaponry for security reasons.
On a personal level, I find this while incident to be a piece of trash. Why would a mom run around the world with her children if terrorism was her concern? I think she was treated unjustly; Pakistani constitution slapped in its face and freedom to help the distressed a crime.
But more than that, I wanted to pen down my concerns over three issues that stem from this incident. Three questions that I would want answers for:
1. Is it a crime to be educated in disciples that are not ordinary and have extraordinary potential?
2. Will we ever have faith in government, legislation and constitution?
3. Is practicing your faith obsolete and offensive?
Imagine, had Aafia not been a neuroscientist but an MBA from some good university, would she still be tortured like this? I don’t think so. People with and beyond Pakistan knew what her potential was and wanted to nub the bud before it brought them any harm. Like Aafia, many students work hard throughout their academic lives to earn a specialised degree. What message is this incident sending across?
Furthermore, this essentially curbs our potential as a nation. As if there weren’t enough forces to push us back to stone-age, now reluctance to get educated is also installed in our system.
Secondly, so far I have heard hues and cry regarding the inefficiency of Pakistani government, how they have failed to keep up with their commitments, how they have sacrificed a common man’s good for their ulterior motives. But today I realised maybe this epidemic goes beyond Pakistan. We, the masses, have no faith in government or legislation. A US government takes a decision for a very sensitive case and we refuse to consider the fact that they must have done it on some solid ground. We refuse to acknowledge their power and consider our subjective decision making skills superior to their objective ones. By no means am I saying that the decision they took was right or wrong, what I am trying to say is that unless the decision is not according to us, we protest. And considering that there will always be opponents and proponents, there will always essentially be protests-unless we learn to accept authority.
Lastly, Muslims are as human as anyone else in the world. I believe so and the world would do itself a favour by believing so as well. Let live and you shall be allowed to live in peace. Harmony and acceptance need to be instilled in cultures across the globe. High time I say!