In 2005, 16-year old Amatur-Rahman was already being monitored by FBI agents in the US, seemingly due to her increasing interest in her faith.
After being approached by FBI agents, including a British-born Pakistani Muslim female agent, she was arrested and detained for seven weeks without charge. She was subsequently deported to the country her parents’ origin. In her first interview since the ordeal Amatur-Rahman talks to Cageprisoners about the circumstances and effects of her experience.
Why do you believe you were singled by the US authorities out of all your friends?
Amatur-Rahman: Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem. Was-Salaatu was-Salaamu ala Rasulillah wa a’la asHaabihi wa man wala. Thumma Amma Ba’ad. Assalaamualikum warahmatulla hi wabarakaatuhu:
In today’s time and age, it is not very common to find teenagers who take their religion seriously; even more so if the families are not too inclined towards religion or towards giving their children a religious upbringing. I was a practicing Muslim teenager who wore the niqab to high school and I was also interested in da’wah (calling others to Islam). Considering the post 9-11 atmosphere, it was easy for them to single me out and label me as they wished. The immigration issue just made it easy for them to take me in and interrogate me for as long as they wished. I highly doubt other than the ‘religious’ factor, they would have found enough interest in me to put both my family and myself through what we went through.