The threshold of the human
Sexual violence and trauma in the ‘war on terror’
in ‘War on terror’
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The threshold of humanity has become the torture chamber. Torture does indeed define the threshold of the human: it is the attempted destruction of an individual; rendering that being 'non-human' through infliction of pain and through systematic exposure of the body. Even more noticeable is the use of the secular religion to justify suffering by deciding who stands outside the threshold of the human. Pathologizing some acts of sexual violence, particularly those against a racially different enemy, but also those against certain classes of women, normalized sexual violence. Four main anthropogenetic strategies help draw the line between the human, the inhuman, and the non-human: torture, religion, human rights, and trauma narratives. The 'war on terror' is a politics in which humanity is defined through the actions of the inhuman (torturer) on the non-human (victims).

‘War on terror’

The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2006

Editor: Chris Miller


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