Tuesday, October 25, 2005
  Say no to Torture!
Bush is pressuring Senator McCain to rewrite his ammendment against torture -- which passed both the House and the Senate, the later in a vote of 90-9 -- so as to exempt the CIA, according to a report in The NY Times. In a private meeting with McCain, Bush, Cheney, and CIA Director Porter, urged McCain change the ammendment so that it "shall not apply with respect to clandestine counterterrorism operations conducted abroad, with respect to terrorists who are not citizens of the United States, that are carried out by an element of the United States government other than the Department of Defense and are consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and treaties to which the United States is a party, if the president determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack."

In other words, it's ok to torture people so long as they aren't Americans, and we think they maybe have some information we want.

The problem is -- aside from the fact that torture is simply inhumane and unjustifiable treatment of a fellow human being -- torture produces unreliable results. People enduring torture will say whatever they think will make the torture stop. That includes fabricating terror cells, naming innocent people that they know are innocent, giving details about plots that never existed, etc.

It's like profiling -- that doesn't work either, but police are still eager to use it.

Coupled with Bush's claim that he can strip an American of his or her citizenship rights (check the case of Jose Padilla - American citizen held for three years without charge, without access to a lawyer, without trial by jury of his peers all enshrined in the 5th ammendment), one wonders if our own Government might soon be in the business of torturing Americans, calling them enemy combatants.

As a Muslim, I quake a little, wondering if someday someone I know will be hauled in, and in sheer fear of what the government might do, finger me. Pretty much every American Muslim I know feels this same insecurity, this same fear that the goverenment may suddenly decide he or she need to be detained for whatever inexplicable reason, and that life will be competely and totally changed forever. Can you imagine trying to get a job with "detained for three years for questioning regarding suspected terrorism links" on your resume? Captain Yee, is a prime example of this. He lost so many months of his life, and his reputation was smeared through the mud,and no doubt there are many who still believe he was guilty despite the fact that the military dropped all charges against him.

Anyway, the point of this entry was to encourage everyone to write their Senators and Representatives to stay tough against torture, and to write Bush, Cheney and Porter letters telling them torture is inhumane, unnacceptable, unjustifiable, and on top of all that it doesn't work.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too.
MoveOn.org. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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