Visiting Someone

O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them, that is better for you, in order that you may remember.

And if you find no one therein, still, enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you, and Allah is All-Knower of what you do.

There is no sin on you that you enter (without taking permission) houses uninhabited (i.e. not possessed by anybody), (when) you have any interest in them. And Allah has knowledge of what you reveal and what you conceal.

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.). That is purer for them. Verily, Allah is All-Aware of what they do.
And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts, etc.) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like palms of hands or one eye or both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer dress like veil, gloves, head-cover, apron, etc.), and to draw their veils all over Juyubihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms, etc.) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband’s fathers, their sons, their husband’s sons, their brothers or their brother’s sons, or their sister’s sons, or their (Muslim) women (i.e. their sisters in Islam), or the (female) slaves whom their right hands possess, or old male servants who lack vigour, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And all of you beg Allah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful

Qur’aan, Chapter 24 (Al-Noor), Verses 27 to 31

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More Americans Support Torture

The United States has a higher tolerance for torture than any other country on the U.N. Security Council, and Americans are more comfortable with torture than citizens of war-ravaged countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Ukraine.
Those are two key findings reported by the International Committee of the Red Cross on Monday, in a new report highlighting global perspectives on war.

The data comes during a renewed debate over torture in the United States. In the presidential election in November, Americans picked Donald Trump, who has endorsed the use of waterboarding and, he said in February, “a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” to extract information from terrorism suspects.
Trump appears to have backed away from his commitment to torture since consulting with his nominee for defense secretary, retired Gen. James N. Mattis. But in an interview with the New York Times last month, Trump said obliquely that if waterboarding was “important to the American people, I would go for it. I would be guided by that.”

Pakistan has lost a lot more lives to terrorism in the last 15 years than the number of Israeli casualties in the last 70 years, but there is no public support for torture.

Here’s what the American people think, according to the ICRC report:
Researchers found that 33 percent of Americans surveyed said torture was a “part of war.” And 46 percent of Americans said that enemy combatants could be tortured “to obtain important military information.”

By comparison, 16 percent of Afghans and 14 percent of Ukrainians said torture was “part of war.” While 18 percent in South Sudan and 15 percent in China said they would tolerate the torture of enemy combatants.
The ICRC interviewed more than 17,000 people from 15 countries and the Palestinian Territories.

That data raises a number of questions about the support for torture and an apparent decrease in respect for international humanitarian law. One of those questions is why Americans are more supportive of torturing enemy combatants than those living in countries in the midst of deadly wars.

The International Committee of the Red Cross Recent Report

The FOUNDING FATHERS AND ISLAM – Library Papers Show Early Tolerance for Muslim Faith

With more than 55 million items, the Library’s Manuscript Division contains the papers of 23 presidents, from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge. In this article, Manuscript Division Chief James Hutson draws upon the papers of Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other primary documents to discuss the relationship of Islam to the new nation

Many Muslims feel unwelcome in the United States in the aftermath of September 11, according to newspaper reports. Anecdotal evidence suggests that substantial numbers of Americans view their Muslim neighbors as an alien presence outside the limits of American life and history. While other minorities—African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans—were living within the boundaries of the present United States from the earliest days of the nation, Muslims are perceived to have had no part in the American experience.

Readers may be surprised to learn that there may have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Muslims in the United States in 1776 — imported as slaves from areas of Africa where Islam flourished. Although there is no evidence that the Founders were aware of the religious convictions of their bondsmen, it is clear that the Founding Fathers thought about the relationship of Islam to the new nation and were prepared to make a place for it in the republic.

In his seminal Letter on Toleration (1689), John Locke insisted that Muslims and all others who believed in God be tolerated in England. Campaigning for religious freedom in Virginia, Jefferson followed Locke, his idol, in demanding recognition of the religious rights of the “Mahamdan (Muslim),” the Jew and the “pagan.” Supporting Jefferson was his old ally, Richard Henry Lee, who had made a motion in Congress on June 7, 1776, that the American colonies declare independence. “True freedom,” Lee asserted, “embraces the Mahometan (Muslim) and the Gentoo (Hindu) as well as the Christian religion.”

In his autobiography, Jefferson recounted with satisfaction that in the struggle to pass his landmark Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom (1786), the Virginia legislature “rejected by a great majority” an effort to limit the bill’s scope “in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan (Muslim).” George Washington suggested a way for Muslims to “obtain proper relief” from a proposed Virginia bill, laying taxes to support Christian worship. On another occasion, the first president declared that he would welcome “Mahometans (Muslims)” to Mount Vernon if they were “good workmen” (see page 96). Officials in Massachusetts were equally insistent that their influential Constitution of 1780 afforded “the most ample liberty of conscience … to Deists, Mahometans (Muslims), Jews and Christians,” a point that Chief Justice Theophilus Parsons resoundingly affirmed in 1810.

Toward Islam itself the Founding generation held differing views. An evangelical Baptist spokesman denounced “Mahomet (Muhammad)” as a “hateful” figure who, unlike the meek and gentle Jesus, spread his religion at the point of a sword. A Presbyterian preacher in rural South Carolina dusted off Grotius’ 17th century reproach that the “religion of Mahomet originated in arms, breathes nothing but arms, is propagated by arms.” Other, more influential observers had a different view of Muslims. In 1783, the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, cited a study showing that “Mohammadan (Muslim)” morals were “far superior to the Christian.” Another New Englander believed that the “moral principles that were inculcated by their teachers had a happy tendency to render them good members of society.” The reference here, as other commentators made clear, was to Islam’s belief, which it shared with Christianity, in a “future state of rewards and punishments,” a system of celestial carrots and sticks which the Founding generation considered necessary to guarantee good social conduct.

“A Mahometan (Muslim),” wrote a Boston newspaper columnist, “is excited to the practice of good morals in hopes that after the resurrection he shall enjoy the beautiful girls of paradise to all eternity; he is afraid to commit murder, adultery and theft, lest he should be cast into hell, where he must drink scalding water and the scum of the damned.” Benjamin Rush, the Pennsylvania signer of the Declaration of Independence and friend of Adams and Jefferson, applauded this feature of Islam, asserting that he had “rather see the opinions of Confucius or Mohammed inculcated upon our youth than see them grow up wholly devoid of a system of religious principles.”

That ordinary citizens shared these positive views is demonstrated by a petition of a group of citizens of Chesterfield County, Va., to the state assembly, Nov. 14, 1785: “Let Jews, Mahometans Muslims) and Christians of every denomination enjoy religious liberty…thrust them not out now by establishing the Christian religion lest thereby we become our own enemys and weaken this infant state. It is mens labour in our Manufactories, their services by sea and land that aggrandize our Country and not their creeds. Chain your citizens to the state by their Interest. Let Jews, Mahometans, and Christians of every denomination find their advantage in living under your laws.”

The Founders of this nation explicitly included Islam in their vision of the future of the republic. Freedom of religion, as they conceived it, encompassed it. Adherents of the faith were, with some exceptions, regarded as men and women who would make law-abiding, productive citizens. Far from fearing Islam, the Founders would have incorporated it into the fabric of American life

By: James H. Hudson, Chief of the Manuscript Division and author of many books, including, most recent,
“Religion and the Founding of the American Republic,” 1998.