(WASHINGTON, D.C., 2/2/05) - CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to thank Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) for their principled stance against the use of torture in U.S. detention centers around the world.
Kennedy raised the issue of torture during Senate debate yesterday on the nomination of Alberto R. Gonzales to be U.S. attorney general. He said:
"Torture is contrary to all that we stand for as Americans. It violates our basic values. It is alien to our military's longstanding rules and traditions. We send our men and women in the Armed Services into battle to stop torture in other countries, not to participate in it themselves.
"These values did not change, or become less relevant, after 9/11. Americans did not resolve to set aside our values, or the Constitution, after those vicious attacks. We didn't decide as a nation to stoop to the level of the terrorists.
"To the contrary, Americans have been united in the belief that an essential part of winning the war on terrorism and protecting the country for the future is safeguarding the ideals and values that America stands for here at home and around the world."
In her prepared remarks for the Senate debate, Sen. Feinstein said: "If
there is a single issue that defines this confirmation process, it is what Judge Gonzales thinks about torture and brutal interrogation practices…For me, in addition to its clear legal and moral importance, the issue of torture became the main way for assessing the next Attorney General…"
"We commend those courageous lawmakers who are taking a principled stand against torture and abuse of prisoners," said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. "The nation and the world need to hear that our elected representatives reject this vile practice." Awad said polls indicate that
the vast majority of Americans are against the use of torture in any circumstance.