He Wanted to Teach the Qur’an in Arabic

Mohammad Khenaina, another of the missionaries from Yemen still imprisoned in Guantanamo, is reported by Andy Worthington to have said he “went to Afghanistan to teach the Qu’ran in Arabic.”  He did not actually ever achieve that goal.  He was lodged in a guest house in Kabul and after the attacks of 9/11, “concernded about retaliation by the Americans… [he] wanted to get out.”

With help from the Afghans with whom he was staying he went to Logar and then Khost and then with other Arabs and an Afghan guide, crossed the mountains into Pakistan where he was arrested.

Worthington reports that there is really no claim of Mohammed Khenaina being militant, only that the manager of the guest house in Kabul where he once stayed “arranged transportation for guests to a Taliban training area.”  We must remember that there was ongoing strife among war lords in Afghanistan, so such activity was common and had nothing to do with the US.  Kehnaina himself said “he was not in Afghanistan to participate in jihad” and “did not have a weapon while in Afghanistan.”  He even condemned the attacks of 9/11.  All he wishes is to return to Yemen, marry a cousin to whom he is betrothed, and “never leave again.”

Mohammed has been tortured and imprisoned for nine years and still languishes in Guantanamo, though not charged nor tried for any crimes.  Yesterday, the Preliminary Bush Torture Indictment was released by the Center for Constitution Rights in conjunction with others, including the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.  Bush was to give a talk in Switzerland, but canceled at the last minute, which meant he escaped arrest in that country.  Investigations are underway in Spain.  It is to be hoped that there will finally be a day of reckoning for the architects and decision makers who are responsible for the torture of Mohammad Khenaina and the others in Guantanamo and other US torture camps and prisons.

My great desire is that Mohammed be released and returned to his betrothed and his family and never leave them again.


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