Source: Detroit Free Press
By Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press
The family of the Taylor man who died during Marines Corps training is pushing back against claims by military officials that he committed suicide.
Raheel Siddiqui, 20, was in basic training with the Marines on Parris Island in South Carolina when he died March 18 after falling 40 feet in a stairwell. Marine officials have said that Siddiqui killed himself, but in a statement released Tuesday through their attorney, Shiraz Khan, the family said “they do not believe the story of Raheel committing suicide.”
“We believe there is a lack of material evidence needed to support ‘suicide’ as the most probable cause of death in this case,” the family said through Khan.
Siddiqui didn’t have any “disqualifying conditions, medical or otherwise, during recruiting and processing into the U.S. Marine Corps,” Khan said. “It’s impossible for his family and friends to accept that he took his own life.”
Siddiqui, who was Pakistani-American Muslim, may have been targeted because of his ethnicity and religion, said family members. The Free Press has reported that his drill sergeant was abusive toward Siddiqui and a previous recruit who was Muslim, according to Marine officials.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the allegations from investigators that Siddiqui was abused. The Journal report said that investigators found that the drill sergeant told the previous Muslim recruit he was a terrorist and involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and once stuffed him into a clothes dryer. The drill sergeant also reportedly called Siddiqui a terrorist.
Categories: The Muslim Times