Gumnaam - Nameless Seekers of Justice

Gumnaam means "someone without a name" or more relevantly "a name lost." This blog is dedicated to those whose names may have been lost from our daily memories but their cause still stands tall and will do so as long as there are people struggling for that cause.

This blog is dedicated to those innocent and guilty who are imprisoned around the world in the name of a larger world agenda. They are those who are undergoing harrowing pain each day in the name of justice and the reason for their imprisonment is a larger cause that they defend. Whether innocent or guilty, this blog calls out for their just trial and just judgement.  

This is dedicated to the cause of justice! 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

In Response to Nadeem Paracha's From Maududi to Aafia


From Maududi to AafiaThe original article appeared in Dawn's blog on 11th February 2010 and was written by Nadeem Paracha. Like many others raising this issue, Paracha seems to be concerned as to the undue attention being given by Pakistanis to a guilty prisoner Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Not surprisingly his frustration towards this undue attention is aimed at Jamaat-e-Islami for some reason.

Paracha says that "On February 5, when Karachi became the horrid scene of two bomb attacks that killed dozens of men, women and children, leaders of various mainstream religious parties (especially the Jamaat-i-Islami) were marching up and down the roads and streets of Lahore condemning the American court’s verdict, insisting that Aafia was innocent, and demanding she be released and returned to Pakistan immediately. Not surprisingly, the Taliban followed suit." I would not even go into talking about how recently every religious party whether or not they agree with Taliban,irrespective of their policy statements towards Taliban, are grouped in the same category by journalists/opinion writers in Pakistan. The impact of this stereo-typing on the true understanding of the conditions in Pakistan will require another essay - what I am more concerned about is that the article fails to recognize is that, like every other political party or organization, Jamaat-e-Islami too had a response to February 5th and were not a silent spectator "enjoying" the scene as the article seems to portray.

What many commentators like Paracha do not seem to understand, or perhaps ignore, is that Dr. Aafia's case is not the case of one woman or one prisoner alone, defending it stands to not defend her guilt but the plight of prisoners in Guantanamo, Bagram and other jails where prisoners are kept under inhumane conditions, with no real crime necessarily under their belt but the "belief" that they are terrorists. We do not need enough evidence than the one that already exists in the cases of Abu-Ghuraib torture evidence, conditions in Guantanamo and in the stories of Moazzam Beg and Binyam Muhammad to know that the struggle throughout the world, not just in the Muslim world but on the streets from London to San Francisco is in defence of "justice" to those who suffer inhumane torture not allowed under any law in the world. What is not being understood is that defending such a case stands to show or inculcate in a nation is enough emotions or sympathy to feel for their fellow countrymen/women whether it is at the hands of the US, any other random country in the world or their very own governments.

The case of Dr. Aafia was first brought massively into media's eyes by the help of Yvonne Ridley, Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Jamaat-e-Islami and it only makes sense for them to continue their campaign when the case they have been speaking about is given a guilty verdict. I would assume that Paracha and others would agree that a campaign left undone or quietly forgotten and the shoddiness in that attitude is some thing we do not want to see in any of the parties in our country. When people point out that Prisoner 650 was actually not Dr. Aafia, they seem to ignore that that only means that there is another Prisoner 650 out there whose voice is still unheard, who still remains nameless. Defending a case such as that of Dr. Aafia's IS defending the many women, and not just men, who have been victims of the war on terror too.

If Paracha and all the writers he has mentioned, writers of blogs like Teeth Maestro and many more, seem bitter about the fact that Dr. Aafia's case is getting a forefront (Oh at last after 6 years but may be that's too early for them too) but not other victims - the argument sounds just as shallow when we think of a protest in London against war on terrorism and us saying oh but why dont they worry about their unemployment and the victims of suicide and hunger before worrying about others. Ofcourse in that case its the gora taking the rally out so we are so proud of their intellect and sympathy and passion for causes, but in our case every one who rants about a Dr. Aafia must clearly be a jihadist, a conservative, a religious fanatic or someone who is "ideologically bankrupt." And then we wonder why we havent "progressed" like the West - possibly because we can't think out-of-the-box when thinking about our own people and the causes and concerns that surround it.

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