Assalamu’alaikum (peace be upon y’all) 🙂
Maybe some of you have seen from my twitter feed (HAHA…as if many people follow me) that I’ve recently been reading the book Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi.
I actually never heard of him before searching for another book, Enemy Combatant by Moazzam Begg, that I was intending to buy. Since the bookstore didn’t have the book I wanted initially (even though their catalog had it -.-), I searched for something that was close in nature.
I found it a bit strange…this is a best-selling author and book, relatively new, and is in the process of being turned into a movie, yet it was stashed away on one of the lowest shelves, among older books. I don’t think I would’ve found it if I hadn’t searched for its exact shelf location on the bookstore’s website.
Here’s a clip to give you a glimpse of what this book is all about, and who bro Slahi is:
This isn’t one of those self-pitiful biographies, in case you were wondering. Bro Slahi introduces his diary by telling us how he strove to remain impartial when it came to relating what had happened to him, and tried his best not to overstate or understate any of the details. At the end he also requests those mentioned in the book to correct any mistakes he may have made, should they feel it necessary.
I was and still am completely blown away by his incredible intelligence, wit, forbearance and memory. His detailed recounts are substantiated by footnotes of official publishings of court hearings, testimonials etc. that the editor, Larry Siems, had included.
When I reached certain parts of the book, especially during his time at Guantanamo after having been forcefully taken to Jordan and Afghanistan, I had to close the book. It was too intense. The torture and circumstances he was and still is facing is unimaginable. And I was only reading about it!! 😥
I had to remind myself a number of times that what I was reading isn’t a fictitious thriller, but is what’s really happening to not only bro Slahi, but many other people around the world.
The book is heavily redacted (has black bars hiding information deemed classified), but bro Slahi’s voice can be heard loud and clear despite the bars of his cell, and the bars in his book. Here are some snipits:
His account is further substantiated by a recent BBC interview with former Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer. Most of the torture and interrogation that he had gone through is exactly the same as what bro Slahi has and is going through till today, as he remains in the detention facility.
It is mind-boggling.
Careful when you watch it, though. The video wasn’t uploaded properly so some parts, especially in the beginning, can blast your ear drums off with high-pitched, static sounds -.-
What the glitches look like on your screen -.-
I do encourage people to read his book, though a word of caution as there are descriptions of the horrible, disgusting and inhumane tortures that he had to endure. So maybe readers should be 18 years and up.
This was really an eye-opener for me. Never knew just how sinister the world can be, including those who are expected to be looking out for your and society’s safety and well-being as a whole. The evidence to prove one’s innocence is so easily available, yet so easily manipulated and falsified.
Kind of makes you live in a constant state of distrust and fear knowing that the sanctity of your life means nothing to some.
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allah is Ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.”
Surah An-Nisa’ Ayah 135
The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Exalted has said:
‘I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of Mine.
And the most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (prayer or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him. When I love him I become his hearing with which he hears, his seeing with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks (something) from Me, I give him, and if he asks My Protection (refuge), I protect him’.”
Sahih Bukhari Book 1 Hadith #95
May Allah protect and guide all of us, ameen.