MPAC Calls on Catholic & Jewish Leaders to Speak out

Washington, DC: The Muslim Public Affairs Council January 3 called new revelations that guards at Guantanamo Bay had used religiously-oriented interrogation tactics "morally reprehensible and un-American", following the release of an FBI report earlier last week.
SEE: "FBI Reports Duct-Taping, 'Baptizing' at Guantanamo" (Washington Post, 1/3/07)
MPAC also sent letters to Catholic and Jewish leaders, including Cardinal Roger Mahoney and Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center, asking them to speak out publicly against the use of religiously-oriented interrogation methods as an insult to all Abrahamic religions.
The report included new allegations that guards staged a mock baptism of a Muslim inmate. One interrogator bragged to an FBI agent that he had forced a prisoner to listen to "Satanic black metal music for hours," then dressed as a Catholic priest before "baptizing" him. Other cases involved interrogators wrapping a prisoner in an Israeli flag, and squatting over the Qur’an to offend Muslim detainees.
SEE: Full Text of Released FBI Documents (pdf file)
In the letters, MPAC Senior Advisor Dr. Maher Hathout calls such methods "a danger to our national security at a time when religious and political extremists around the world can use this new information to bolster their argument for a clash of civilizations".
The FBI report, which shows 26 agents raised concerns about the camp in 2004, describes the abuse as 'over the top'. The document was released as part of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of former detainees who allege they were abused.
"Our nation's ability to win the war depends on our willingness to stick to the principles that define us," said MPAC Executive Director Salam Al-Marayati. "This latest news do not aid us in that endeavor."
Founded in 1988, MPAC is a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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