What Happened to Abu Muqatil?
al-Salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
Many of you may have read over the past week of the case of a brother Syed Talha Ahsan
being arrested in the UK at the request of the American government for extradition to the US for trial.
Here’s an extract from the Guardian
on the day of his arrest
Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home in Tooting, south-west London, by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit.
Ahsan, 26, was held on a federal indictment from the US state of Connecticut charging him with conspiracy to support terrorists and conspiracy to kill or injure people abroad. The allegations do not relate to domestic terrorism in the UK.
Ahsan is accused in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist who was indicted in Connecticut in October 2004. Ahmad, who is fighting extradition, has been accused of running websites inciting murder and urging Muslims to fight a holy war.
There’s more information here
However, what many of you may not be aware of is that this brother, Talha
, is someone who regular users of this forum will be familiar with, Abu Muqatil.
I was shocked myself when I found out.
He appeared in court this morning to hear the charges read out against him and the judge thereafter turned down his application to be released on bail until the trial date. So after the hearing today, he was returned to Belmarsh Prison. A more detailed account of today's events will shortly be published on the website that has been set up to campaign for his release:
What can you do?
First and foremost is to make du’a
, that Allah preserve and protect him, grant him the patience and forbearance he’ll need for this testing time, and that Allah grant him release and protection from the plans of those who have gathered against him.
Write to him. Let the brother know that there are brothers and sisters out here who will not forget about him, nor will we stop in our efforts to campaign for his release. It is an amazing iman
and morale boost for a prisoner to get mail from friends and supporters, even if it’s just a few lines.
You can write to him at this address:
Syed Talha Ahsan TA 6044
LONDON SE 28 OEB
For those of us in the UK you can also contact your local MP via http://www.writetothem.com/
, or better yet in person, and ask them what are they doing to about getting the 2003 extradition treaty between the US and UK annulled? A treaty that may shortly (Allah forbid) lead to Babar Ahmad’s
extradition, and the same treaty which we now find brother Talha being detained under?
A bizarre one sided treaty that allows the US to request a British citizen be extradited without first presenting any evidence that there’s a case against them. In contrast the UK has no authority to make a similar request to the US. Prior to 2003 the US government had to present evidence that there was a case against a person before having them extradited. Like the example of Lotfi Raissi
who the US government alleged was responsible for training some of the 911 pilots. The US government was unable to produce any evidence and the charges were dropped without his extradition. Although he was subjected to five months imprisonment in Belmarsh prison, he never left the country. However, since 2003 things are very
different and the US no longer has to produce any evidence (their previous stumbling block), they merely have to make a request for extradition.
We are all only too well aware of the atrocious human rights record of the US and how they treat their prisoners or anyone who dares to question their actions. So we fear for Babar, Talha and others like them as to what the US will do with them if they are succesful in getting them extradited (Allah forbid). Guilt is rarely a factor in the sending of a Muslim to human rights nightmares such as Guantanamo bay. Rather the selection process seems to based on religious belief and the whims/political gain of the authorities in the US.
So write to your local mp and ask what is he/she doing to have this unjust treaty over turned and to highlight the case of the victims of this legislation, such as Babar Ahmad and more recently Talha.
Stay informed with the case by regularly visiting:
Take part in the demonstrations, campaigns and other activities that these organisations hold.
I'm also open to suggestions as to what can be done to help our brother. So feel free to brainstorm here (or you can contact me privately if you’d prefer) with your ideas.
Very importantly, return to and repeat step one.
You'd think that if the brother had actually committed a crime then there'd be sufficient evidence for the UK authorities to put him on trial here themselves, rather than having to wait to be ordered by the Bush administration, 'ajeeb
May Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala
) hasten the release of Talha, Babar and the other brothers and sister around the world who have been persecuted for daring to stand up and recite, and act upon, "There is none worth of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
Baraka Allahu fikum.