The First of the Missionaries from Yemen

Among the Yemeni prisoners still held in Guantanamo are some who say they are missionaries.

Abdul Rahman Muhammad, reports Andy Worthington, was captured when only nineteen years old.  His story seems to me to present a young man determined to do the work he set himself.  A number of the prisoners at Guantanamo from Yemen remarked on what they perceived as the seriousness of the Islamic faith in Afghanistan.  Abdul left home and traveled first to Karachi, looking for work, staying there with a friend from Yemen.  He went to the office of the Taliban in Quetta in July or August of 2001.  It must be remembered that the Taliban were a group of Afghan war lords very dedicated to their Muslin religion and establishing a theocracy.  A missionary might find work with them.  He had no luck and returned to Karachi.  Determined, he a paid guide for a trip to Kandahar, where he stayed at a religious school for ten days.  Once the US attacked after September 11, 2001, ABdul went to a Taliban house near Kabul and from there to Pakistan, where he was seized and sold into US captivity.

The US authorities have a list of documents seized in raids, according to Andy Worthington, that make all manner of wild claims, but the accuracy of these are in grave doubt.  The US has never charged Abdul Rahman Muhammad, any more than his fellow country men, and would not likely be able to prove any wrong doing.  You can read Andy Worthington’s account of this young man’s experience on his website.

This young man, Abdul, has spent nine years of his young life in hell.  The flight to the US torture camp at Guantanamo alone is more harrowing than any human being should ever suffer.  The torture and abuse are unspeakable.  Being away from family, friends, and home is insufferable.

Can we work to get Abdul released?  If we do not, what does that mean about us?


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