UK writers award for former Guantanamo Bay detainee

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg has been honoured at the annual _Muslim Writers Awards 2008′ for his book chronicling his time in the US detention centre and his return back home to Britain. Begg was awarded the _Published Writer of the Year’ award for his book, _Enemy Combatants: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back’. Giving a powerful acceptance speech, Begg, who owns a bookstore in Birmingham recalled how faith and prayer strengthened the bond between the “Enemy Combatants” during the abuse and humiliation meted out to them by their captors. Eight awards were presented at a ceremony in Birmingham, following a review of 10,000 entries by a panel of independent judges.

Gitmo detainee speaks at Cathedral

Moazzam Begg spoke about his experiences at Blackburn Cathedral on Tuesday describing how he was tortured and held in solitary confinement. Moazzam Begg, a British citizen, said how he travelled to Afghanistan to start a girls’ school with his wife and within a year he had been captured by American forces as part of the “war on terror” and transported to Guantanamo Bay. He was kept without charge until his eventual release in 2005. Moazzam Begg said he knew what it was like “not to have a voice”. But he insisted that members of all faith communities in East Lancashire needed to make sure that they articulated themselves well – and avoided violence. Mr Begg said he wanted to tell all people, not just Muslims, that they have a voice.