Abu Ghraib Prison
Attacked in Response to "Fatima's Letter"
At approximately 12:25pm
on Saturday, 18 December 2004, 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 fuelled 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
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 women 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 honour 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 honour?
In previous times, glory and honour 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 honour 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.
www.1924.org -Fatima's Letter
Fatima Martyred In Abu Ghraib Prison
Jan 10, 2005
By Muhammad Abu Nasr, Free Arab Voice and
Omar Al-Faris JUS; Published in Arabic by Islam Memo
Resistance forces fired a rocket barrage at the US Abu Ghraib prison camp
west of Baghdad. A correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam in Baghdad said that
the attack took place at 1am Friday and that a variety of rockets, including
the powerful Ababil and the Grad were used in barrage that lasted more than
The barrage left four Iraqis dead, as well as the Iraqi woman prisoner known
as Fatima whose letter, smuggled out of the prison two weeks ago, sent shock
waves around the Muslim world outrages as it disclosed many horrid details
of US forces gang raping female prisoners and regularly perpetrating other
abuses against the prisoners in the ill-reputed facility. Friday’s barrage
also severely wounded another 22-year old Iraqi woman.
An Iraqi who works at the Abu Ghraib prison camp told Mafkarat al-Islam that
more than 68 US troops were hurt in the creamardment as that the rockets
specifically struck their barracks. But just one night before the attack,
the Americans had moved more than 500 Iraqi prisoners to the east side of
the prison, resulting in the death of many of them.
Allawi police brought the body of Fatima to her home in the adh-Dhahab al-Abyad
village in the Abu Ghraib area, 45 km east of Fallujah. The correspondent
wrote that because of the family’s psychological condition at the time, he
was unable to interview them. Their neighbour, however, spoke to the
Fatima’s eldest brother, who is one of the mujahideen whom the occupation
forces are searching for, spoke in the mosque Thursday at the night-time
prayer and said “Praise be to God” with tears in his eyes. Everyone in the
mosque witnessed him saying ‘Oh God take her soul! Oh God this is a shame so
please cleanse it! You are the All-Powerful! You are the All-Powerful! You
are the All-Powerful!’ Then after the prayer, one of the worshippers came up
to him and remonstrated him for saying, ‘Oh God this is a shame so please
cleanse it!’ The man told him, ‘Say rather, this is an honour, so raise it
up and honour it. It is we about whom the word shame should be used, not
Fatima. She is the most honourable, purest, and cleanest of girls. I ask you
for her hand in marriage after she gets out of prison, God willing.’”
The neighbour went on, saying, “Fatima’s brother and his fighting detachment
carried out more than 50 rocket attacks on the prison before and after her
letter came out. Every day they would hunt down a car or two belonging to
the occupation forces. His name became famous among them in this area, as
famous as that of al-Zarqawi.”
The neighbour’s wife told the correspondent, “A month before her arrest
Fatima distributed candy and ‘brides’ fingers’ a famous Iraqi folk delicacy
to the people on her street because she finished memorizing 13 of the 30
sections of the Quran. She told the women, “After memorizing Surat al-Baqarah,
the rest of the Quran is easy to memorize. Give me three more months and
you’ll see who’s better, me or Sheikh Khalid.’” (Sheikh Khalid is the imam
of the mosque in the neighbourhood where Fatima lives.)
The neighbour’s wife says of Fatima: “She used to be shy about everything. I
remember once she was with the women at a wedding for one of the local young
people, and the other girls all asked her to take off her veil because there
weren’t any men around, but she refused to, because she was so shy.”
Fatima’s funeral took place at 1pm today, Friday, the Mafkarat al-Islam
correspondent reported, to the sound of exultant cries of Allahu Akbar! (God
is greatest!) and the Muslim creed “There is no god but Allah!” Fatima’s
brothers and father were not there for the funeral, however, because they
are all wanted by the occupation forces, and the Americans surrounded the
whole area of funeral – from Fatima’s home to the cemetery – and kept
everyone under close surveillance.
The medical report concluded that Fatima was struck fatally in the head
during the creamardment. The blow hurt her instantly.
At the time the correspondent sent his report, at 8:30pm Friday, Mecca time,
white flags – the sign of a martyr - were flying over the Fatima’s house.
Local people stayed in the house to receive condolences from mourners on
behalf of the family. It was as if Fatima were saying from her grave to all
How can you find sweetness when life is bitter?
How can you find pleasure when humanity is enraged?
If your desire is true then everything [else] is insignificant, and
everything on the dust is but dust.
Fatima lies in the al-Karakh Islamic cemetery west of Baghdad. The mourners
put a date palm frond on her grave so that she might remain in people’s
memory even as the hot daytime sun dries up the palm leaves.