Faith-based initiatives.

Just posted: the cover story of the December 5 issue, Michael Peppard's "The Secret Weapon: Religious Abuse in the 'War on Terror.'"

One time there was a long, tortured cry. I turned around. There was a second and then a third cry, but they sounded different from the cries of people being beaten. It was the long and frightening wail of death. Through the chain-link fencing I could see a guard in the cage of one of the Arab prisoners. I immediately knew what had happened.

Reading these lines for the first time, you might imagine, as I did, that these cries signaled some extreme form of physical abuseelectrocution, waterboarding, or rape, something reserved for Donald Rumsfelds worst of the worst. I certainly couldnt have guessed what Murnaz actually saw that day:

We were searched every day. They even searched the Qurans. The guards grabbed the books by their spines and shook them to see if anything was concealed in the pages. This guard must have thrown the Quran on the ground-otherwise the prisoner wouldnt have howled like that. I saw the guard trampling on something. Some of the prisoners sprang to their feet. A terrible wailing arose. One by one, all the prisoners were losing their cool. Allahu akbar! they yelled. Dont do that! I screamed. The guard continued trampling on the Quran. It was as though lightning had struck in a zoo.

Read the rest right here.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

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