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Posts tagged hanukkah

from "The Secret Weapon: Religious Abuse in the War on Terror," by Michael Peppard, Commonweal, 5 December 2008

The United States has desecrated what most Muslims consider God’s presence on earth (the Qur’an), drowned out the call to prayer with the American anthem and rock songs, used grotesque sexual assaults to undermine piety, mocked religious holidays, and engaged in freelance proselytism.

How long can we expect the memory of such abuse to endure? Does it qualify as torture according to the definition offered in John Yoo’s famous Justice Department memo—“significant psychological harm of significant duration, e.g., lasting for months or even years”? History suggests that the collective memory of this abuse will last far longer than that. Millennia ago, another religious group with strict codes of ritual purity and devotion to God underwent physical and religious torture at the hands of occupying forces, prompting insurrection. More than two thousand years later, the events accompanying that revolt are still commemorated annually. The people are the Jews, and the holiday is Hanukkah.