Tuesday Jan 18 2022

Aafia Siddiqui’s family condemns hostage-taking incident in US

Malik Faisal Akram at a demonstration. Photo by the author.
Malik Faisal Akram at a demonstration. Photo by the author.

  • Aafia's sister, Fouzia Siddiqui, says that her mother was admitted to hospital in a critical condition when the news broke.
  • Fouzia says Dr Aafia would also be praying for the victims and their families. 
  • Says "our family strongly condemns any act of violence in Aafia's name."

BLACKBURN: The family of Dr Aafia Siddiqui has condemned the hostage-taking incident that took place inside a Texas synagogue on Sunday, saying that they don’t stand by those who are involved in any kind of violence.

Talking to Geo News, Dr Aafia's family members said that they "had nothing to do with the actions of British national Malik Faisal Akram" who was killed by the FBI during the operation to free the hostages at the Synagogue.

Dr Aafia’s sister, Fouzia Siddiqui — who has been running a campaign to free her sister from American imprisonment — regretted the incident and said that "baseless rumours were spread that her brother was involved in a hostage situation."

"My family had had nothing to do with anyone involved in illegal activities while using Aafia’s name," she said.

Fouzia further said: "My mother was admitted to a hospital in critical condition when the news related to the incident broke and it was more painful for my family.”

She said that those who know Dr Aafia can confirm that “she would be distraught if she finds out that people are bragging about kidnappings, holding hostages and murder while using her name to justify it.”

Dr Aafia would also be praying for the victims and their families, while we also strongly condemn any act of violence in her name, she added.

In a statement, John Floyd, who is the legal counsel of Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s brother, said that his client is not the person responsible for the hostage-taking.

“We strongly condemn the hostage-taking at Texas synagogue and this anti-semitic attack against a house of worship is unacceptable, however, we stand in solidarity with the Jewish community, it said.

On Monday, a family member of Malik Faisal Akram told media that he was "suffering from serious mental health issues and travelled around America, three weeks ago where he slept rough, bought a gun and launched an attack on the Synagogue."

It is pertinent to mention here that FBI Hostage Rescue Team had stormed a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas on Saturday night to free three hostages of a gunman who had disrupted a religious service and began a standoff with police more than 10 hours earlier, demanding the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist jailed in the US for almost a decade.

All the hostages were safely released on Saturday night and the gunman was shot dead.