National Religious Campaign Against Torture Calls for Closure of Prison at Guantanamo

5724570Last Friday,  the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT)cosponsored a  Congressional briefing on why it is imperative that we close Guantanamo. NRCAT founder Rev. Dr. George Hunsinger, eloquently spoke about the unfolding humanitarian crisis at Guantanamo, where prisoners have been engaged in a hunger strike for over three months.

“The consequences of ignoring Guantanamo,” Hunsinger said, “its abuses, and its hunger-striking detainees are enormous — not only for America, but for the prisoners themselves, many of whom have reached the point that they would prefer to die rather than persist in more years of indefinite detention, which is itself tantamount to torture.”  You can watch the video of the briefing here, with Dr. Hunsinger’s presentation starting at 36:10.

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) has been a founding member of NRCAT since 2006.  NRCAT is calling for all faith communities to help build support for closing Guantanamo in two ways:

Add your name to the religious leaders’ letter. 
Add your name to a letter that 38 senior religious leaders sent to President Obama and to Congress calling for the closing of Guantanamo.  Help us reach more people by sharing the online petition with your friends.  Also, please download a petition version of the letter and circulate it in your congregation, campus or community.

Join in the 100th Day Weekend of Action
Friday, May 17th will mark the 100th day of the hunger strike.  We invite you and your community to mark this day by finding a time to include mention of Guantanamo in your worship service or prayers.  You can also participate in the “100th Day Weekend of Action” by finding a time during the weekend of May 17-19 to hold a prayer vigil, fast in solidarity, display an anti-torture banner, or organize educational and advocacy activities at your Islamic center.  To assist you, NRCAT has prepared a Guantanamo Fact SheetSermon Talking Points and a Bulletin Insert with an Interfaith Prayer.  Go to www.nrcat/closegitmo for more information.

Plan an Event for Torture Awareness Month in June
June is Torture Awareness Month – a time to recommit as people of faith to end torture in our backyards and around the world.  This year, NRCAT’s theme is “Healing a Culture of Torture,” encompassing the need to reflect, pray, and act in light of the deep physical and spiritual harm caused by torture. NRCAT invites you and your community to commemorate Torture Awareness Month by displaying one of its posters or marking the month with a local event: Click here for a toolkit of ideas and resources. Join people of faith from across the country in efforts to end torture in U.S. policy, practice and culture by organizing an activity. These nationwide efforts are critical to the success of Torture Awareness Month. Please let NRCAT know about your plans!