On Believing Victims and “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”

On Believing Victims and “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”

Believing victims has been a healthy step in acknowledging problems of abuse in the world. Like anything positive, if taken to an extreme there is a danger. The danger in this situation lies in presuming the guilt of everyone accused in the name of believing victims. Affirming due process and taking an accuser’s claim seriously, and even “believing” a victim are not mutually exclusive.

It is very difficult for victims to come forward due to social and emotional repercussions. People may think that it’s so easy to accuse someone of sexual abuse but it’s terrifying for victims to open themselves up to a barrage of criticism from others. They can also be re-traumatized by reliving details of the abuse. It also takes a lot more brain power to change a long held perception of a respected religious role model than it does to dismiss an accusation made by a stranger or acquaintance. Even family members dismiss claims by their own daughters, sons, and siblings in favor of leaders they have invested so much in. Shame and self-blame are pervasive among victims, especially in these situations where the perpetrator is someone who is so deeply respected and revered. In the case of a perpetrator who is of religious stature, many also internalize that God is punishing them, and that they are bad Muslims. So the victim blaming, and unnecessary and uninformed public commentary, further compounds those feelings and can severely damage victims’ emotional well-being.

At the same time, a mere accusation of sexual abuse can ruin a person’s life. Even if later proven innocent, the damage is unsalvageable. If we are to just believe that every time someone accused is guilty by mere accusation, we will cause great harm to entire families and communities and it may be based on nothing. This is a hysteria we really have to avoid.  A lot of sexual abuse goes unreported, and those who have suffered and kept silent know how hard it is to get justice. But the precept of innocent until proven guilty is inextricable to justice.

When it comes to accusers, the accused, and the facts, different areas of action have their own validation process. Therapists work to validate patients’ thoughts and feelings. That does not necessarily mean they believe the patient was abused; it is just not the place to question the truthfulness of a claim. They operate as if the claim is true, hence believing the victim in their sphere of work. As clinical psychologist Dr. Juhayna Ajami explained to me, “A therapist works with the victim’s experience and symptoms and isn’t concerned with anything else.”

A therapist’s role is not to determine guilt of the alleged perpetrator. Believing the victim’s story does not imply the guilt of the victim’s abuseras it is a compartmentalized ‘belief’ to help the patient. This does not mean the therapist is humoring the patient’s delusion, because the possibility is very real, however therapy sessions are not the appropriate medium to launch an investigation and resolve the claim.

Validating victims’ experiences in therapy matters greatly for their own well-being. Shame and self-blame are pervasive among victims, especially in these situations where the perpetrator is someone who is so deeply respected and revered. As author of The Empathy Trap, Dr. Jane McGregor told me, “one can offer validation to a client, meaning offer recognition or affirmation that a person or their feelings or opinions are valid, without having to go further than one’s professional jurisdiction and claiming knowledge or evidence of guilt of the person the client accuses.” This matters and shows in Dr. McGregor’s research on the experience of individuals who identified themselves as having been psychologically/emotionally abused. Many participants in the study felt the therapists did not offer validation, but rather made moral judgments and showed disbelief in the stories.

Similarly, an imam or Muslim leader who is informed about abuse cannot adjudicate the claims. There are various reasons for this including lack of authority, lack of competence in this particular field, and liability.  However, he or she may validate pain, give some naseeha [advice], and console the one seeking advice. The victim may or may not be believed in every aspect, but the validation, naseeha, and consolation should be given as if the situation is real.

If the same accuser wants to make a public accusation against his or her abuser, the Muslim leader can no longer just believe this person to be a victim as it relates to taking action that presumes guilt of the accused. The area of action has changed, and so has the validation process.  Evidence would need to be presented.  In the absence of direct evidence (as is often the case), a fact-finding process should take place based on whatever evidence is available.

For incidents that are made public, we cannot expect, nor should we encourage, anyone to assume a specific person’s guilt for a specific act without evidence. At the same time, we should not demonize the accuser nor deem them to be liars. When a victim is being targeted, the last thought is ‘how do I gather evidence to prove that I’m not making this up.’ There is rarely evidence in these cases and where there is, many victims actually delete incriminating emails and text messages because their foremost goal is to end the traumatic experience and return to normalcy, and unfortunately in doing so, they may delete evidence. In other cases, harassment may be on emails for a work account, and if the abuser is an employer, they can terminate the email account with the emails on it. During the incident(s) of harassment, a victim does not always think to forward those emails to a different account or of other ways to preserve them to later on build a case. Perpetrators know this very well and rely on this.

As an aside, victims have asked me why some shaykh or shaykha appeared sympathetic to them, consoled them about their horrific experience with a religious leader, but then continued to conduct programs with that individual. There are many possibilities as we have discussed previously, but one cannot fairly expect a teacher to believe without sufficient proof to the extent of rallying against someone or boycotting. It’s not as simple as ‘another corrupt shaykh aiding in oppression.’ Consoling and being merciful is part of our religion and so is reserving judgment. Believing victims cannot turn into a witch hunt where anyone accused is presumed to be guilty in the name of protecting others; and if proven innocent the slander and suffering the accused suffers is just collateral damage.

We know of incidents from the Quran and hadith of noble men and women being accused and acquitted that should at least encourage us to reserve opinions. All of these instances relate to either fornication or adultery. It is worth mentioning that although they are not the perfect parallel to cases of sexual abuse, they show that accusations alone cannot be cause for judgment and shunning. There are endless analyses and morals that can be drawn but I will be concise.

Quran:

  1. The slander of Aisha (rw) put great stress on her and her entire family. She was a victim of slander and false accusations. Allah cleared her name and censured those who accused her and revealed rules for anyone to be accused of adultery. Allah revealed the first sections of Sura Nur which pertain to slander and adultery among other matters.
  2. Maryam (as) is accused of being unchaste. She is a victim of false accusations and slander. She gives birth to Isa (as) and he speaks as an infant to defend the chastity of his mother.
  3. Yusuf (as) is accused of trying to seduce Zulaykha. He is imprisoned for the crime and later cleared.

From Sahih Bukhari:

  1. Jurayj was a worshipper of Bani Israel, who was accused of fornication and fathering a child out of wedlock. His worship house was destroyed in reaction to him being accused. The baby born to the accusing woman spoke and cleared Juraryj, and his worship house was rebuilt by the same people.
  2. There was a lady suckling her son that made dua that Allah make her son like a man with a great outward appearance that rode by. Her child stopped suckling and prayed that Allah not make him like that man.  Then they saw a lady being beaten by a group and accused of fornication and stealing. The mother prayed that Allah not make her son like this woman. The child stopped suckling again and prayed “Oh Allah, do make me like her.” The mother asked her son why he made those prayers, and the baby explained the man was a tyrant so he made dua not to be like him, whereas the woman was accused of fornication and theft but was innocent of that, so he made dua to be like her.

Both men and women, many of whom we revere as examples, have been falsely accused in our primary Islamic sources. Men being falsely accused is as much a reality as women being falsely accused. Each of the above mentioned accused had extremely negative effects due to the false accusations. This is a reminder of how important it is to find your facts or at least reserve judgment of both parties. What we learn is that they were innocent and the ones who accused them were wrong and corrected.

That being said, those who are involved in cases, have evidence, and are trustworthy can warn other organizations to not host certain speakers. This would be akin to mentioning someone drinks alcohol when asked for advice in terms of marriage or doing business with them. It can either be accepted or rejected and should be left as naseeha in the private sphere. If the evidence is rejected, as opposed to being ignored (which does happen) we cannot label these organizations as being complicit or aiding abuse, because the very disagreement is on whether or not the said incident occurred.

The bottom line is that due process and “innocent until proven guilty” does not, and should not, contradict “believing victims.” Affirming an accused’s right to due process should not equate to an inference that an accuser is a liar or otherwise untruthful.

You can contact Danish Qasim directly via Danish@inshaykhsclothing.com.

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12 Replies to “On Believing Victims and “Innocent Until Proven Guilty””

  1. “That being said, those who are involved in cases, have evidence, and are trustworthy can warn other organizations to not host certain speakers. This would be akin to mentioning someone drinks alcohol when asked for advice in terms of marriage or doing business with them. It can either be accepted or rejected and should be left as naseeha in the private sphere. If the evidence is rejected, as opposed to being ignored (which does happen) we cannot label these organizations as being complicit or aiding abuse, because the very disagreement is on whether or not the said incident occurred.”

    I am sure that this was the conclusion made in an attempt to be fair for both the accused and the accusers in situations like these. There are a few very important concerns though, when it comes to the actions and attitudes of organizations and groups involved in promoting the religion.

    Unlike any business entity, the prime obligation for individuals, groups and organizations involved in providing a platform to inform about Islam is to first of all “uphold” the principles of Islam. Unlike other business entities, each individual, group and organization have to be held accountable for every action taken. It requires a very high level of ethical and moral standards.

    I completely disagree with the offhanded obligation of any entity involved in teachings of Islam.

    If such organizations or groups learn of misconduct by any individual in the field, it is their duty to make their own investigation to confirm if it is right or wrong.

    If any organization or group continues in promoting some individuals who were accused without ensuring otherwise, they will be endorsing the fact that accusations made on the individuals were false, and are therefore accountable for neglecting their duties, and are complicit in aiding or continuing of abuse.

    They can not simply get away with responsibilities because they “agree” or “disagree” with other people.

    A Muslim is someone from whose tongue and hand another person is safe. Islam have a very deep meaning, but it also means peace and safety. I ask, how can we provide “safety” when we allow ourselves to be so negligent and off handed in providing a safe environment for those seeking to learn about Islam?

  2. Thank you for your comment

    This is why I said “rejecting evidence” vs ignoring the evidence. Perhaps disagreeing on the conclusion or strength of evidence would have been better phrasing. I am speaking of the scenario in which they do in fact look into it and reach a different conclusion.

    In terms of offering a full investigation that would be ideal, but it’s not realistic given constraints of organizations. It would be great though.

    Maintaining the status-quo does not endorse the accused as innocent, it’s a suspension of judgement until the facts can be determined. This is challenging though when victims themselves are not coming forward. Some organizations may choose to stay away from accused speakers, it really is a choice each organization can make. This has a flip side though of harming the accused without sufficient proof.

    1. Thank you for your response.

      Given the understanding that “fitna is worse than killing”, is it justifiable to save the organization from responsibilities by saying that it is unrealistic for them to make their own investigations due to constraints? (I am not aware of what comprises of those “constraints”). Is the matter being taken seriously enough?

      In an instance where the organization is sued for negligence (should some incident occur after knowledge of possible misconduct have come to their knowledge), will those “constraints” be relevant?

      It has been observed that there is a prevalence of an attitude that “want to reap the benefits, but completely refuse to accept responsibilities associated with them”. I hope that leaving organizations and individuals off the hook is not catering to this trend.

  3. I am going to chime in since some legal questions have been raised and I would like to lend my expertise as an attorney.

    The constraints are many and depend on the case but include: not having the expertise to make determinations in these matter (this is actually worse for the victims because narcissists are very good at getting away with their actions), lack of manpower to assess every potential claim against every person the organization even associates with, and victims shutting down/refusing to speak/or seem to have a change of heart and turn and defend their abusers (this is very common!). In those instances, when an organizations is relying on mere hearsay, it puts the organizations in a very difficult dilemma and would be unfair to hold them to a standard which would require them to presume someone’s guilt.

    As for lawsuits, again, we are talking about organizations merely hosting a speaker for spurious events. In the context of negligent hiring in the legal context, of course the standard would be higher and like when any entity hires an employee, a reasonable background check should be take place. But an organization would not likely be legally liable for simply associating with or hosting an accused person.

    This is not about reaping benefits of leadership without responsibility. This is about avoiding “guilt by association” or expecting Islamic figures or institutions to be held to an unreasonable standard that we don’t hold other organizations to and preventing innocent people from being destroyed by potentially false claims.

    1. Thank you for elaborating.

      Talking about responsibilities, there is an example from years ago I’ll share here. There was a lady who used to go regularly to a restaurant, and she herself didn’t smoke, but other customers did. Somewhere along the line, she was diagnosed with cancer. She then sued the restaurant/owner and held them accountable for her developing the disease. There were many discussions about how ridiculous it was for her to blame the restaurant/owner but eventually she won the case. As a result, you can see now that almost every restaurant all over the world have separated the smoking and non-smoking section, if there are any smoking section at all.

      So when it comes to responsibilities and accountabilities, it just doesn’t justify to say that organizations have these constraints and they can’t make sure about these issues. They are running a business using the religion as a marketing pitch after all, so if they cannot take the responsibilities, they should not be hosting religious events.

      Another thing we can take from this is that if every person or entity started taking responsibilities seriously, a lot of bad things just won’t happen.

      Please also elaborate on what is meant by “unreasonably high standards” concerning the religious figures and entities for clarification.

      1. I am unsure as to the case you speak of but I did find reference to a case like this here: http://www.nytimes.com/1993/04/03/nyregion/lawsuits-seek-to-ban-smoking-in-fast-food-restaurants.html (if that is the wrong case and you have a summary of the case you refer to, that would be helpful). In the smoking case, the issue was much more specific and narrow to a specific class of people and to a specific duty (accommodating those with disabilities). To carry that duty to broaden it to other areas can be problematic in that will create an undue burden on entities and if there are no specific guidelines, then such a duty can not be met due to a lack of clear guidelines.

        This exactly is the problem when it comes to Islamic organizations. Your point is taken about those running a business should not use constraints as an excuse. But even if we want to hold our Islamic organizations to certain duties, what are those duties? Where do they arise from? How do they fulfill those duties and how are those duties breached? Who decides what those duties are? This is not to say there should be no duties, but when the duties are not clearly laid out (such as the smoking case when we have a specific duty created by statute for accommodations to a specific group of people/those with disabilities), then people will not know how to act. This leads to abusers getting away with abuse and others being held liable when it may be unjust to them.

        Add to the mix, in our cases, the complication of victims not willing to continue with their pursuit of their claims (as we have discussed in the above comments). As for “unreasonable standards” (I did not say “unreasonably high standards”), it is unreasonable because it is 1) unclear and 2) impossible to uphold from a practical perspective. For example, an accuser accuses a religious figure of improper and illicit texting communications and informs a confidante. The confidante then informs an organization that the accused religious figure is going to speak at a one-time event. The organizations asks to speak with the accuser to verify the claims. The accuser refuses to speak and even starts defending the abuser as if nothing happened and even attacks the confidante for conveying the information (this is not uncommon behavior), should the organization actually be held liable for hosting the accused religious figure when the accuser is defending the accused and attacking the confidante? Really, expecting an organization to be actually held liable for what is not much more than a rumor is not reasonable.

        I agree with you that organizations should take these issues seriously but there needs to be clear standards otherwise people won’t know what actions to take, even if they wanted to.

        1. Thank you for the detailed explanation. I may have made it difficult for you to reply to my last comment by mentioning the case without it’s reference. I agree and understood the problem of creating an undue burden on entities by applying the same standard that are meant for a specific class of people and to a specific duty.

          The particular case I mentioned had a significant impact on creating awareness on the harm of second hand smoking in the society, but unfortunately I could not find the link to it. However, please see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1766141/ for your reference. I am changing a few words in the conclusion of the abstract of the report (in brackets) to better express what I was trying to get at:

          “Successful cases brought on behalf of individuals exposed to (predatory behavior) produce an additional benefit for the public (safety) by both paving the way for other (victims) to succeed in their cases and persuading business owners and others voluntarily to make their facilities 100% (predator)-free.”

          From the PDF of the report, I believe it would be noteworthy to go through the case under the heading “NEGLIGENCE”. The scenario may be comparable to the one you mentioned when the victim’s confidante (I gather a family member/friend) came to inform an organization about a speaker’s illicit conduct.

          Seeing the prevalence and harmful effects of various individuals’ misconduct in the Islamic organizations, it seems fair to state that it requires all Islamic organizations to collectively gear up to eradicate such problem from this industry for good.

          I do hope sincerely that it is not the fear of being sued that motivates them to gear up, but they are moved because of the privilege they feel in working for a noble cause.

          Some community members apply the “hiding your brothers’ sins” and “leave that which does not concern you” attitude as a part of Iman in situations where some people have been harmed. Creating ambiguities and hiding wrongdoings is far away from justice. Isn’t it obvious that when some people are harmed, we should be demanding justice for the injured?

          You are right in that individuals who are falsely accused should also be protected. There is a 50-50 chance of either the accuser or the accused in being a victim. In cases where the accused are the victims, they deserve to have their names cleared.

          Fitna is not created by the individuals who were wronged, nor by those who strove against the wrongdoers. Fitna is created by the wrongdoers and their supporters, and it’s about time they were dealt with justice. That requires change in attitude and system that applies to all involved in Islamic activities. The responsibities are heavy on Islamic organizations because they are opinion leaders of the industry.

          Saying that any Islamic organization should not be held accountable for these type of cases can also lead to corruption in at least two ways that I could think of right now:
          1. They may give in to undue political pressures which may be on contrary to what is right.
          2. They may be motivated to act on basis of profit maximization which may be on contrary to what is right.

          One possible scenario is when an organization is approached by an individual involved in investigating such cases, have sufficient evidence and are trustworthy warns them of a certain speaker’s illicit activities. The organization then based on two of the possible reasons above decides to “disagree” stating that there are some faults in technicalities and reasonings, and adding on ambiguities when they know that the warnings were valid.

          Based on different scenarios, the organizations will have to justify their handling of the claims. Obviously, they can not simply take actions against a speaker based on rumors, but they would have to at least take sufficient steps to determine whether they are rumors or not.

          Like you mentioned before, making a background check on speakers, and having an ethical code of conduct is quite a reasonable and basic standard expection from these organizations.

          Of course, the accused are innocent until proven guilty. No action can be taken against them until they are proven guilty. The question here is on what basis are the accused being assessed in the current situation? In legal terms or in Islamic terms? I am guessing that this is the confusion in what guidelines they should base their actions.

          I believe that we understand that our duties and clear guidelines have been stated in the Quran, and explained in the Hadiths. A list of some of the commandments mentioned in the Quran can be found below:

          1. Do not be rude in speech (3:159)
          2. Restrain Anger (3:134)
          3. Be good to others (4:36)
          4. Do not be arrogant (7:13)
          5. Forgive others for their mistakes (7:199)
          6. Speak to people mildly (20:44)
          7. Lower your voice (31:19)
          8. Do not ridicule others (49:11)
          9. Be dutiful to parents(17:23)
          10. Do not say a word of disrespect to parents (17:23)
          11. Do not enter parents’ private room without asking permission (24:58)
          12. Write down the debt (2:282)
          13. Do not follow anyone blindly (2:170)
          14. Grant more time to repay if the debtor is in hard time (2:280)
          15. Don’t consume interest (2:275)
          16. Do not engage in bribery (2:188)
          17. Do not break the promise (2:177)
          18. Keep the trust (2:283)
          19. Do not mix the truth with falsehood (2:42)
          20. Judge with justice between people (4:58)
          21. Stand out firmly for justice (4:135)
          22. Wealth of the dead should be distributed among his family members (4:7)
          23. Women also have the right for inheritance (4:7)
          24. Do not devour the property of orphans (4:10)
          25. Protect orphans (2:220)
          26. Do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly (4:29)
          27. Try for settlement between people (49:9)
          28. Avoid suspicion (49:12)
          29. Do not spy and backbite (2:283)
          30. Do not spy or backbite (49:12)
          31. Spend wealth in charity (57:7)
          32. Encourage feeding poor (107:3)
          33. Help those in need
          by finding them (2:273)
          34. Do not spend money extravagantly (17:29)
          35. Do not invalidate charity with reminders (2:264)
          36. Honor guests (51:26)
          37. Order righteousness to people only after practicing it yourself(2:44)
          38. Do not commit abuse on the earth (2:60)
          39. Do not prevent people from mosques (2:114)
          40. Fight only with those who fight you (2:190)
          41. Keep the etiquettes of war (2:191)
          42. Do not turn back in battle (8:15)
          43. No compulsion in religion (2:256)
          44. Believe in all prophets (2:285)
          45. Do not have sexual intercourse during menstrual period (2:222)
          46. Breast feed your children for two complete years (2:233)
          47. Do not even approach unlawful sexual intercourse (17:32)
          48. Choose rulers by their merit (2:247)
          49. Do not burden a person beyond his scope (2:286)
          50. Do not become divided (3:103)
          51. Think deeply about the wonders and creation of this universe (3:191)
          52. Men and Women have equal rewards for their deeds (3:195)
          53. Do not marry those in your blood relation (4:23)
          54. Family should be led by men (4:34)
          55. Do not be miserly (4:37)
          56.Do not keep envy (4:54)
          57. Do not kill each other (4:92)
          58. Do not be an advocate for deceit (4:105)
          59. Do not cooperate in sin and aggression (5:2)
          60. Cooperate in righteousness (5:2)
          61. ’Having majority’ is not a criterion of truth (6:116)
          62. Be just (5:8)
          63. Punish for crimes in an exemplary way (5:38)
          64. Strive against sinful and unlawful acts (5:63)
          65. Dead animals, blood, the flesh of swine are prohibited (5:3)
          66. Avoid intoxicants and alcohol (5:90)
          67. Do not gamble (5:90)
          68. Do not insult others’ deities (6:108)
          69. Don’t reduce weight or measure to cheat people (6:152)
          70. Eat and Drink, But Be Not Excessive (7:31)
          71. Wear good cloths during prayer times (7:31)
          72. protect and help those who seek protection (9:6)
          73. Keep Purity (9:108)
          74. Never give up hope of Allah’s Mercy (12:87)
          75. Allah will forgive those who have done wrong out of ignorance (16:119)
          76. Invitation to God should be with wisdom and good instruction (16:125)
          77. No one will bear others’ sins (17:15)
          78. Do not kill your children for fear of poverty (17:31)
          79. Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge (17:36)
          80. Keep aloof from what is vain (23:3)
          81. Do not enter others’ houses without seeking permission (24:27)
          82. Allah will provide security for those who believe only in Allah (24:55)
          83. Walk on earth in humility (25:63)
          84. Do not neglect your portion of this world (28:77)
          85. Invoke not any other god along with Allah (28:88)
          86. Do not engage in homosexuality (29:29)
          87. Enjoin right, forbid wrong (31:17)
          88. Do not walk in insolence through the earth (31:18)
          89. Women should not display their finery (33:33)
          90. Allah forgives all sins (39:53)
          91. Do not despair of the mercy of Allah (39:53)
          92. Repel evil by good (41:34)
          93. Decide on affairs by consultation (42:38)
          94. Most noble of you is the most righteous (49:13)
          95. No Monasticism in religion (57:27)
          96. Those who have knowledge will be given a higher degree by Allah (58:11)
          97. Treat non-Muslims in a kind and fair manner (60:8)
          98. Save yourself from covetousness (64:16)
          99. Seek forgiveness of Allah. He is Forgiving and Merciful (73:20)
          100. Do not repel one who asks (93:10)

          Isn’t it a reasonable assumption that the Islamic organizations and individuals channeling the message of Islam are expected to abide by these commandments?

          1. Thank you Juviria for your thoughtful comments. I don’t think we really disagree on much (or at all). I am not saying organizations should not be held accountable – I am saying we can not make it STANDARD and for the reasons that I mentioned previously – that it is impracticable if not impossible for these organizations can actually do anything such as when victims’ claims can not be vetted and even when victims turn around and start defending the abuser.

            I also want to reiterate the distinction between ignoring claims of abuse and investigating the claims and coming to a different (reasonable) conclusion and not having proper evidence to take action. I have seen instances where organizations ignored blatant evidence of wrongdoing by an abuser and this is unacceptable. I have seen organizations put their heads in the sand and that is also unacceptable. Then I have seen instances where we had evidence and the victim completely disappeared and refused to pursue her claims. Then we have instances where the victim “returns” to the abuser and is constantly praising the abuser openly on facebook (doesn’t make a strong case for abuse, now does it?). In those second two scenarios, all an organization heard was vague claims of abuse and sometimes the victim praising the abuser, the organization should not be held to the standard of having to boycott the abuser when they have nothing to go off of and even have contradictory evidence before it.

            I hope that clarifies things and forgive the lag in responding.

  4. Peace.
    Awesome topic.

    “The bottom line is that due process and ‘innocent until proven guilty’ does not, and should not, contradict ‘believing victims.’ Affirming an accused’s right to due process should not equate to an inference that an accuser is a liar or otherwise untruthful.”
    I concur. That said, nor should an accuser’s claims be considered valid if it means the accused *must be* guilty (without due process). For the sake of therapy, or not. In (a) Therapy (&/or Investigative situation(s)), There should always be an emphasis on neutrality. No exceptions. To the extent that the intent of neutrality for the sake of healing the somatic trauma (& or discovering Truth-in investigative scenarios) be directly & clearly communicated (with/to clients). While that may have been implied in the article, it deserves equal emphasis.

    PS.. I do not understand the “fitna is worse than killing” statement. I don’t see how those are mutually exclusive. In fact, in the age of extreme literalists, I believe that’s a very dangerous statement to make (contextually or not).

    Peace.

    1. Thank you for your comment. The statement you mention on fitnah is in the Quran (2:191). For meaning, I would defer to statements of those who do tafseer.

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