Texas Faith – Is torture ever justified as an instrument of American policy in a dangerous world?

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Dick Cheney has no problems if our soldiers are captured and tortured by rogue nations. Did he ask the permission from the folks whose spouse, parent, kid or sibling who is serving in the armed forces can be tortured, should they be caught by the enemy? I hope our veterans will hold him accountable for his irresponsible statements. Shame on our civility, this man has pulled us down.  Mike Ghouse

Note: I have appended two comments from Yoshua Budin and Omar Saleem Peerzada, my facebook friends. The comments are very profound

Continued: http://nabsites.net/demo/texas-faith-is-torture-ever-justified/

TEXAS FAITH: Is torture ever justified as an instrument of American policy in a dangerous world?

Wayne Slater Follow @WayneSlater Email wslater@dallasnews.com
Published: December 16, 2014 3:21 pm

A new Senate report has rekindled the debate over enhanced interrogation, or torture – an issue of profound political, social and moral implications. We know the context: enhanced interrogation was a desperate attempt to prevent another 9-11. It worked or didn’t. It was used sparingly or wasn’t.
In retrospect, some religious voices make a clear case that torture is immoral and should never be used. Others say that even if immoral in full or in part, the 39 captives subjected to it should be viewed against the larger evil of 3,000 people killed on 9-11.
Mark Tooley, a frequent commentator on matters of religion and politics, writes this: We can be confident of course in God’s love for all people. But until God sets forth the new heavens and new earth, temporal security will indeed require threats of harm or weapons of war.http://juicyecumenism.com/2014/12/10/torture/
He notes that unvarnished torture is practiced by tyrannical regimes and murderous terrorists, often on innocents who don’t share a particular political or religious view. He suggests it’s justified as a necessary evil in order to prevent a greater evil. Obviously, there is a strong, religiously based counterview – some things cross a line, are morally repugnant, never acceptable.
This week’s question is simple, and hard.
What does your faith say about enhanced interrogation – about torture – as an instrument of American policy in a dangerous world?
As expected, our Texas Faith panel of theologians, clergy, activists and experts take a dim view of torture — but come to their views from various traditions that are guaranteed to provoke thought. 
MIKE GHOUSE: President, Foundation for Pluralism and speaker on interfaith matters, Dallas
Torture is reprehensible and should not be an instrument of American policy. We are a civil society and to remain civil, we should act civil.
After the battle of Trenton, General Washington issued an order to his troops regarding prisoners of war: “Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren who have fallen into their hands,” he wrote. In all respects the prisoners were to be treated no worse than American soldiers; and in some respects, better. Through this approach, Washington sought to shame his British adversaries, and to demonstrate the moral superiority of the American cause.
By legitimizing, “he would do it again” VP Dick Cheney has shamelessly approved other nations torturing our soldiers. Did he ask permission from the folks that the rogue nations can torture their spouse, parent, kid or sibling caught by the enemy? He has the guts to say they would rather “behead.” The VP indicates his bias towards one ignoring other nations. I hope our veterans will hold him accountable for his thoughtless statements.
We are also a party to the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of prisoners of war.
What does Quran say about torture?
Finding the truth is one’s own responsibility, it gives clarity and peace of mind knowing that the causer of life, the creator God is kind and merciful.
Verse 9:5 is projected in the market as, “When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere for them.”
The story goes like this, when you hear me say, “I will kill you” you get all worked up and become aggressive. What an intelligent human would have done was recall what I said before “I will kill you”, and that would be, “don’t rob me or don’t dare to throw me out of my home.” If he keeps coming after you; you repeat the warning and add if you do that, I will kill you” followed by these words, “If you back off or repent, I will not attack back at you, and the bonus, if you ask for forgiveness, I will forgive you.”
This is the formula in Quran for literally every such verse.
9:5  And so, when the sacred months are over , slay those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God wherever you may come upon them, and take them captive, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every conceivable place! Yet if they repent, and take to prayer, and render the purifying dues, let them go their way: for, behold, God is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace.
What was said before verse 9:5?
9:4 But excepted shall be from among those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God – [people] with whom you [O believers] have made a covenant and who thereafter have in no wise failed to fulfill their obligations towards you, and neither have aided anyone against you: observe, then, your covenant with them until the end of the term agreed with them.  Verily, God loves those who are conscious of Him.
After verse 9:5
9:6 And if any of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside God seeks thy protection,  grant him protection, so that he might [be able to] hear the word of God [from thee]; and thereupon convey him to a place where he can feel secure: this, because they [may be] people who [sin only because they] do not know [the truth].
1. The Quran had been purposely mistranslated down through history. In the middle Ages, European leaders commissioned a hostile Quran translation to foster warfare against Muslim invaders. Later, Muslim leaders produced another translation to inflame Muslims against Christians and Jews. It was all for politics.  Thank God the Arabic version has remained intact and better translations are produced now – the best one is by Muhammad Asad. www.QuraanConference.com
2. The biggest Muslim problem is they have equated the words of a few medieval scholars as word of God. Muslims have started denouncing their work. Two Islams – Mangled up and Pristine – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/two-islams-the-mangledup-_b_5748280.html
3.  Prophet Muhammad was called a mercy to mankind, meaning he was kind and merciful to humanity, all humanity, not just Muslims. The bad things about him are “cooked up” and Muslims are becoming increasingly aware of it, and resorting to just Quran as the source of guidance. Quran is not for Muslimshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/quran-is-not-for-muslims_b_6174940.html#es_share_ended

To read the take of other panelists, please to go to Dallas Morning News at: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/2014/12/texas-faith-is-torture-ever-justified-as-an-instrument-of-american-policy-in-a-dangerous-world.html/#more-48473

2 Scholarly Facebook Comments:

Yoshua Budin Those who are in favour of torture (for whatever reason) should realise that one day they may end up at the wrong side of this system as well. A government, that is so obsessed with national security that it allows torture, is likely to apply it to its own citizens too. In a society that continuously shifts boundaries there are no certainties.

Mike Ghouse Yoshua Budin – Thanks for sharing your wisdom, I am always encouraged by your thoughts and notes.

Omar Saleem Peerzada Torture is both dangerous and wrong, not only as a matter of practice, but as a matter of national morality.

Omar Saleem Peerzada , I read somewhere that experienced and professional interrogators eschew torture as unlawful, unnecessary and unreliable….The net strategic effect of torture was zero intelligence and the immense loss of moral stature. One cannot lecture the world about the rule of law or moral imperative when we abandon it and pretend nothing was amiss. I want to add the observation through Polling data collected by the Pew Center and Investor’s Business Daily/Christian Science Monitored between 2001-2011 shows a decline of those who believe torture is “never” or “rarely” justified from 66% to 42%, and an increase of those who believe torture is “sometimes” or “often” justified from 32% to 53%.

Mike Ghouse  Yes, it is the 2nd part that is worrisome, that is regressive or coming to a point of not wanting to solve but bulldoze it. Omar, a very thoughtful statement, with our permission I would like to add this to the article as your quote. It is very profound. Thank you. 

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Mike Ghouse is a public speaker, thinker, writer
and a commentator on Pluralism at work place, politics, religion, society,
gender, race, culture, ethnicity, food and foreign policy. He is a staunch
defender of human rights and his book standing up for others will be out soon,
and a movie “Americans together” is in the making.  He is a frequent guest
commentator on Fox News and syndicated Talk Radio shows and a writer at major
news papers including Dallas Morning News and Huffington Post. All about him is
listed in 63 links atwww.MikeGhouse.net and his writings are
at www.TheGhousediary.com and 10
other blogs. He is committed to building cohesive societies and offers
pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. 

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