Stop Torture!

Mahatma Gandhi: "Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it... When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall... You must be the change you want to see in the world."
cited from

The Scourging: William Bougereau

The picture above struck a chord with me. Jesus was tortured and crucified. In this picture the abusers are not stopped by the people standing by. Some look away while still others cannot do anything as they are too weak. One of the children hides his face, while another looks on sitting on the shoulders of an older man.

The symbology of Jesus' torture and crucifixion is often interpreted as the personal torture and crucifixion of the soul that we all experience emotionally, however, it is most certain that the torture and death Jesus experienced at the hands of others, two thousand years ago, he experienced physically and it is true that such abuses continue to occur; brothers and sisters experience torture and death even today, and while some survive, many die.

We may perceive of the lesson of the crucified Christ metaphysically, but his crucifixion may also be recognized as a real event that no one should have to suffer. I recently read Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar by Moazzam Begg, a story of an innocent man, who was incarcerated and tortured for three years. As I read, I began to think of the crucified Christ.

And then I thought, how many of us stand by while others suffer torture and abuse at the hands of the unenlightened and how can I stand by, while brothers and sisters suffer such abuse, as the people in this picture above stand by, while Christ is tortured, and how in standing by, even with all of my prayers, can I claim enlightenment?

Father Paul Blighton used to cite the phrase often, "By their works ye shall know them" ; them meaning the followers of Christ. Am I a follower of Christ, if I stand by? Jesus spoke out again and again of the injustices of his time. He did as much as he could while he was alive.

I believe the world changes through the action of each and everyone of us. Look at the changes that Jesus brought to our awareness. If you believe, as I do, that this is so, and you do not have a project to work on that helps to change the world, pick a project that needs attention and take action!

While doing whatever it is, know that your participation and our collective actions, no matter what religion, and no matter how big or small, do make a difference. Human Rights are basic to every religion and philosophy and "loving our neighbor as ourselves" is a basic teaching of every faith and philosophy.

Love Jessika


"The US detention center at Guantánamo Bay has become a symbol of US disregard for human rights and the rule of law. It is only the visible part of a larger programme of illegal detention by the US government.

Neither you nor I are big enough to put an end to this disgrace, but working together with countless other concerned individuals worldwide, we can bring an end to this illegality.

Tear It Down is Amnesty International’s global initiative to end illegal US detentions and a major online action under Amnesty International’s campaign to Counter Terror With Justice

Our campaign to end US illegal detentions is based on a framework that outlines practical and positive steps US authorities should take to close Guantánamo, and end secret detention and rendition.

We are asking other governments to recognize their important role in providing lasting protection for these detainees and to oppose any recourse by the US authorities to secret detention and transfers.

One pixel at a time

Each pixel represents our individual power to end the lawlessness and the human rights violations inherent in this system.

Sign the pledge. Get a pixel.

And do your bit to tear Guantánamo down, a first step to ending illegal detention.

Let’s tear it down!

The Pledge:

"I sign up to Amnesty International’s framework for ending US illegal detention, the first step of which is closing Guantánamo in a way that respects the rights of detainees.

The US must also end the practice of enforced disappearance, secret transfer of detainees to locations where they may face torture and other ill-treatment and indefinite detention without charge."

Quoted From Tear it Down.Org


Read a personal account!

Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar (Paperback)

by Moazzam Begg (Author), Victoria Brittain (Contributor)

Quoted From Amazon: From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In a fast-paced, harrowing narrative that's likely to become a flash point for the right and the left, Begg tells of his secret abduction by U.S. forces in Pakistan, his detainment at American air bases for more than a year and at Guantánamo for two more years as an enemy combatant. A British Muslim of Pakistani descent, Begg grew up in Birmingham and excelled at school before becoming involved with Islamic political causes and later moving to Afghanistan to become a teacher. After fighting broke out in Kabul, he and his wife and children moved to Islamabad in 2001, where U.S. operatives seized him. In March 2004, Begg was released from Guantánamo under pressure from the British government, but over the objections of the Pentagon, which still considers him a potential terrorist. Despite considerable media speculation over what Begg may have left out of this memoir, it's a forcefully told, up-to-the-minute political story. Whether Begg is describing his Muslim and Asian friends fighting white supremacist skinhead street gangs in Birmingham, or telling how he shared poetry with a U.S. guard at Guantánamo, his tone is assured. His work will be necessary reading for people on all sides of the issue. (Sept.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.