Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and People of Conscience Speak Out

Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and People of Conscience Speak Out

Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and People of Conscience Speak Out

Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims, and People of Conscience Speak Out

Synopsis

In this hard-hitting volume two dozen scholars, activists, military officers, and religious leaders call for an immediate end to the practice of torture, paying particular attention to its use in the American war on terror.

Torture Is a Moral Issue begins with background material, including vivid firsthand accounts from a torture survivor and a former U.S. interrogator in Iraq. The heart of the book contains respectively Christian, Jewish, and Muslim arguments against torture, and the final part charts a way forward toward a solution, offering much principled yet practical advice. Included as an afterword is an interview with Darius Rejali, one of the world's foremost experts on torture and democracy.

Excerpt

George Hunsinger

I recently purchased a copy of Life magazine from July 17, 1970. I had begun asking myself, what did I know and when did I know it? I could remember a haunting photo essay from years ago, which turned out to be in that issue. It was an exposé of the “tiger cages” in Vietnam. I had encountered it while I was still a seminary student. Reading it would make a lasting impression on me. Looking back I can say it was the first step down a road that would eventually lead me to found the National Religious Campaign Against Torture in 2006.

In July 1970 I was already opposed to the Vietnam War for its senselessness, its brutality, and its massive aerial bombing of civilians. To that list could then be added the sorrow and the outrage that my government was apparently complicit in torture and prisoner abuse. Here is an excerpt from the article:

Beneath the bars crouched the prisoners. More than half of them were
women, one girl was only 15. the air was foul, the heat stupefying. The
bars were crusted with lime, which the prisoners say guards tip down on
them as punishment, burning their eyes and choking their lungs. All the
prisoners were sick: with tb, open sores, eye diseases, and malnutrition.
(p. 26)

U.S. congressmen had been led to the Con Son prison, where the tiger cages lay hidden, by a Vietnamese-speaking social worker named Don . . .

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