THE LASH IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD: Torture and Citizenry in Medieval Muslim Jurisprudence

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ABSTRACT

Medieval Muslim scholars unequivocally prohibited the torture of prisoners of war out of a concern for maintaining theoretical constructs about the boundaries of the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. Muslim scholars worried that the torturing prisoners of war would compromise values and ideals predicated on such constructs, and that the demands of citizenship trumped any benefit to the Muslim community that might accrue from torture.

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