City of Brass

City of Brass


Muslims Against Torture

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The following statement of principles, A New Muslim Statement Against Torture, is reprinted from Religion Dispatches. It came about as a direct result of the general failure of the muslim-American community to join the national dialouge condemning torture when president Obama released the so-called “torture memos“. I am a signatory to this statement and I hope all muslim American readers of this blog will join me in affirming their support as well.

We, the Muslim-American community, condemn torture. It is irreligious, immoral, and unethical.

Our religious history is replete with stories demanding that we condemn abuse and torture. The Prophet Moses (AS) sacrificed his royal position to stop an act of torture. The Prophet Jesus (AS) was tortured in an exercise of the brutality of power. The Prophet Muhammad (SAS) forbade the mistreatment of prisoners. Husayn (AS), the Prophet’s grandson, was denied food and water, an act of torture, the abhorrence of which is now part of Muslim cultural memory.

We are are compelled to speak out against torture–just as we condemn acts of terrorism because of their immoral nature. We challenge our co-religionists to live to a higher standard and we challenge our fellow Americans to live to a higher standard.

The torture of human beings at the behest of the American government must be condemned. Extraordinary rendition must be stopped. Simply because another country allows torture does not mean we should encourage and utilize the moral weakness of others. When we ratified the Convention Against Torture President Ronald Reagan said, “[We] clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.” The violence of torture is the result of power without a moral compass; it is not a model that we as Americans and Muslims believe is one that should be emulated.

We believe America must not torture and it is the ultimate act of being American to hold our government responsible for actions done in our name. We believe, as Pres. Kennedy, Pres. Reagan, and Sec. Clinton, that the US can be a shining beacon on a hill. When Rev. Winthrop made that statement over 300 years ago, he said that we must hold ourselves to higher standard both because others will, and because it is right.

We applaud President Obama for shining light on these shameful practices. We now need to ensure that we do not participate in torture ever again. As citizens, it is incumbent on us to be aware of what is being done in our name. We urge President Obama to meet this challenge as well.

We cannot be deaf to the voice of justice, but must establish it. Torture is not just.

Signatories:

Hussein Rashid
Associate Editor – Religion Dispatches

Shahed Amanullah
Editor-in-Chief – AltMuslim)

Fatemeh Fakhraie
Editor-in-Chief – Muslimah Media Watch

Tina M. Foster
Executive Director – International Justice Network

Zeba Iqbal
Vice-Chair – Council for the Advancement of Muslim Professionals

Aziz Poonawalla
City of Brass, BeliefNet

G. Willow Wilson
Author

Contact:
no-torture@islamicate.com

One of the challenges that the muslim-American community faces is to faithfully articulate its values from a defensive stance. Our values are at odds with the actions of those muslims abroad who act in the name of Islam and yet transgress the most basic axioms of our faith. Though this process of explanation and communication of our values to our fellow citizens is difficult, it is not impossible, and it remains compulsory. This statement is a beginning, not an end. I am proud to be a signatory to this statement and I encourage other muslim Americans to visit Religion Dispatches and do the same.



  • Morgaan Sinclair

    Yes, but do you believe Muslims should torture, and why are you not speaking out about that at the same time????

Previous Posts

Muslims en masse for Modi at Madison Square
Newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to a huge crowd of Indian expats in New York City on Monday night, outlining his vision of India's future and mak

posted 4:29:29pm Oct. 01, 2014 | read full post »

Hussein Abdullah gets a penalty for doing sajda in the endzone on Monday Night Football
https://twitter.com/NFL_Memes/status/516788936996573184 As a (very) recent convert to the joy of American Football, I am fascinated by the penalty issued to Kansas City Chiefs' safety Hussein Abdullah for performing a sajda (prayer prostration) of thanks after an epic 39-yard pick-six on Patriots

posted 11:04:12am Sep. 30, 2014 | read full post »

the NFL, concussions, and domestic abuse #WhyIStayed #WhyILeft
A lot of my friends who aren't into football have remarked upon my newfound interest in football as being somewhat out-of-character (true, at first glance, but i'll address that later) and also critiqued the sport for all its attendant social problems. Of those, the two main ones are domestic abuse

posted 5:47:02pm Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

13 years after 9-11
I honestly don't have much left to say that I have not said already. But it is worth at least remarking on this, the anniversary of the attacks, that the global challenges facing the world today have almost nothing to do with terrorism or Islamic fanaticism. Yes, we have threats like ISIS to grapple

posted 8:44:01am Sep. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Saudis propose to relocate the Prophet's (saw) tomb from Masjid al-Nabawi
The above photo of the Mecca clock tower, or as I like to call it, "Big Bin", was during my hajj a few years ago. It is part of my general observations of the "Meccahattan"-ization of the holiest place in Islam, the way that the Saudi religious authorities are utterly obliterating the historical wea

posted 10:13:58am Sep. 02, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.