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In the post-9/11 context, the images of the hooded Iraqi man at the Abu Ghraib prison standing on a box with his outstretched arms tied to electric wires, the goggled and muffled prisoners at Guantánamo, and the former U.S. Army reservist Lynddie England smilingly pointing to the naked Iraqi detainees have shocked the world. The shock caused by these images needs to be contextualized by recalling that torture has been a prominent part of Western and non-Western history, as both punishment and judicial torture, existing both legally and extra legally. These incidents have created challenges for the moral judgments of religious ethics. It is striking, however, that the recent debates have come up in the context of accommodating torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment ...

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