Since I started the blog About Aafia, the most frequently asked question has been, "But do you think she's innocent?" At first, I was apologetic, like many decent people. Then I began to see the error in the question.
A person is innocent or guilty on the basis of charges presented in a court of law. The only charge brought against Dr. Aafia Siddiqui in the court is that involving an M4 rifle, which is so absurd that it is difficult to see how any self-respecting court of law can admit it at face value.
Having links with Al Qaeda, money laundering, smuggling of contact diamonds, plotting to destroy US installments, and other such things are what we heard about Aafia through the media, but none of these have been pursued in the court. This is called extra-judicial bias. In the past, courts used to consider it as the greatest possible insult to them. Now, a New York court seems to be patronizing it.
This is where media acquires supremacy over law, and a court becomes a rubber stamp in the hands of media barons. A precedent has been set: you don't need to bring charges against someone in a court anymore. Accusing the person through television, newspapers is sufficient to throw her or him in prison for indefinite period. Courts will dare not interfere.
Can a society survive without law? The answer is, No. There just cannot be any other answer, except a categorical, emphatic, No. Please imagine, if law becomes completely irrelevant in a case as famous as Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, then is there any chance that law may continue to matter after this? My answer, No.