At approximately 12:25pm on Saturday, resistance fighters waged an unprecedented assault on the Abu Ghraib prison camp south of Baghdad. The assault was sparked by a letter from a female prisoner named Fatima that fueled some Muslim fighters into action.
Fatima’s letter, a hand written document, was recently smuggled out of Abu Ghraib. Fatima is the sister of one of the celebrated Resistance fighters in the area. US occupation forces raided his house some time back but failed to find him, so they took his sister prisoner in an attempt to force him to give himself up. JUS reported the incident at the time and it was said that this family is known for their piety and uprightness.
Here is Fatima’s letter as originally published in Arabic by Mafkarat al-Islam and translated to English by Muhammad Abu Nasr of Free Arab Voice
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Mercy-giving. “Say He is God the One; God the Source [of everything]; Not has He fathered, nor has He been fathered; nor is anything comparable to Him.” [Qur’an, Surat 112 “al-Ikhlas”]
I chose this noble Surah from the Book of God because it has the greatest impact on me and on all of you and it strikes a particular kind of awe in the hearts of Believers.
My brother Mujahideen in the path of God! What can I say to you? I say to you: our wombs have been filled with the children of fornication by those sons of apes and pigs who raped us. Or I could tell you that they have defaced our bodies, spit in our faces, and tore up the little copies of the Qur’an that hung around our necks? God is greatest! Can you not comprehend our situation? Is it true that you do not know what is happening to us? We are your sisters. God will be calling you to account [about this] tomorrow.
By God, we have not passed one night since we have been in prison without one of the apes and pigs jumping down upon us to rip our bodies apart with his overweening lust. And we are the ones who had guarded our virginity out of fear of God. Fear God! Kill us along with them! Destroy us along with them! Don’t leave us here to let them get pleasure from raping us! It will be an act to ennoble the Throne of Almighty God. Fear God regarding us! Leave their tanks and aircraft outside. Come at us here in the prison of Abu Ghurayb.
I am your sister in God (Fatimah). They raped me on one day more than nine times. Can you comprehend? Imagine one of your sisters being raped. Why can’t you all imagine it, as I am your sister. With me are 13 girls, all unmarried. All have been raped before the eyes and ears of everyone.
They won’t let us pray. They took our clothes and won’t let us get dressed. As I write this letter one of the girls has committed suicide. She was savagely raped. A soldier hit her on her chest and thigh after raping her. He subjected her to unbelievable torture. She beat her head against the wall of the cell until she died, for she couldn’t take any more, even though suicide is forbidden in Islam. But I excuse that girl. I have hope that God will forgive her, because He is the Most Merciful of all.
Brothers, I tell you again, fear God! Kill us with them so that we might be at peace. Help! Help! Help! [Wa Mu’atasima!]
Subsequently, approximately 100 resistance fighters launched a fierce attack on the prison, forcing US troops to take cover inside their barracks within the compound. Fighters pounded the Americans with barrages of 82mm and 120mm mortar rounds. Large crowds of people gathered outside, fearful that the bombardment might harm the prisoners but they were assured by the fighters that they knew the layout of the prison camp very well.
Mafkarat al-Islam’s correspondent in Baghdad reported that the fighters succeeded in destroying part of the walls of the prison camp, blasting a hole four meters long in the inner and outer fences that encircled the camp.
The fate of Fatima and the other woman with her is unknown.
On a final note, an individual responded to Fatima’s letter yesterday on the Ansar site and wrote:
“Sorry, sister, we are not men. Only true men can answer your cry for help. Men are in a very short supply these days. Sorry again sister.”
It is comments like these that speak to the lack of honor and duty that characterizes many Muslims today. At JUS, we have insisted that rape has been going on since the occupiers landed their muddy boots in Iraq, which has for the most part, fallen on dead ears. We feel great frustration and failure over the receipt of Fatima’s letter because we know there are many more Fatimas being raped in prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan and many other sisters who are being violated who are not in captivity. What must we do to make these voices heard and where are the Muslim men to defend their honor?
In previous times, glory and honor were integrated into the lives of Muslims as part of the complete system of Islam. For instance, a man tied the end of that woman’s dress to a chair while she was shopping and when she got up, a portion of her private parts became visible. She screamed “Wa Mu’atasima”, calling for the Khalif himself. The Khalif wrote this letter to the head of the cross worshipper’s state:
“To the dog of Rome, I am coming to you with an army whose front is at your door and whose rear is right here”
This is honor and glory in action for something much less than rape. This is an army instead of 100 fighters. Those were the days when Muslim men could be found.?