I’m sure, that every jihad being waged around the world today is cast by the jihadis as defensive — in the absence of a caliph, an offensive jihad would be illegal according to Sharia. Thus Osama bin Laden, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and all the rest have explained the most vile acts of mass murder as “defensive jihad.” And that is apparently just fine with Amnesty International.
LONDON: Leading South Asian rights campaigners have accused Amnesty International of “undermining” the rights movement, especially the campaign against sex and gender discrimination, by working with extremist — often misogynist — groups engaged in what they claim is “defensive jihad”.
The row follows remarks by Claudio Cordone, its secretary-general, that “defensive jihad” was not “antithetical” to human rights. He made the comments in response to a Global Petition from rights activists questioning Amnesty’s alliance with Cageprisoners, founded by Moazzam Begg, an ex- Guantanamo Bay prisoner and dubbed “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban” by a former Amnesty official.
“Moazzam Begg and others in his group Cageprisoners hold…views which they have clearly stated, for example on whether one should talk to the Taleban or on the role of jihad in self-defence. Are such views antithetical to human rights? Our answer is no, even if we may disagree with them …,” Mr Cordone wrote.
The initiators of the petition — Amrita Chhachhi, Sara Hossain and Sunila Abeysekera, all prominent women’s rights activists — have called Mr. Cordone’s remarks “shocking and incredible”.
“If this is the official position of the world’s leading human rights organisation, this would gravely undermine the future of the human rights movement,” they argued.
In a statement, they said that by endorsing “defensive jihad”, Amnesty was giving legitimacy to the arguments used by fundamentalist groups to justify their anti-human rights actions.
Silly and indefensible moral equivalence then wraps around a valid point:
“It is precisely ‘defensive jihad’ that the Taleban use to legitimise its anti human rights actions such as the beheading of dissidents, attacks on minorities, attacks on schools and religious shrines and the public lashing of women. A similar logic based on ‘defence of religion’ is used by the Christian right to justify the killing of doctors providing abortion services as well as by Hindutva fundamentalists to justify their violent attacks against Muslims and Christians in India,” they said. Recently, Amnesty suspended the head of its gender unit Gita Sahgal after she went public with her concerns about its links with Mr Begg.
A comment from Hugh:April 1, 2010 1:17 PM
Amnesty International began as a legitimate organization, in the time of the Soviet Union. It is still regarded as one of the two most important “human rights groups” — but in reality, many of these groups are no longer about human rights, properly understood but, rather, have — in a correct application of that overused verb — been hijacked by apologists for, and collaborators ,with the forces of Islam. The head of Amnesty International is a Bangladeshi lady who never takes a stand on the Muslim mistreatment of women, much less that of non-Muslim minorities. This lady, Irene Zubaida Khan, has recently been taken to task by Gita Sahgal, who has never been a secret defender or apologist for Islam — unlike Irene Khan, and who resigned in protest at AI’s decision to actively promote the tour of Moazzem Begg.
Here is what Salman Rushdie had to say about the disgraceful behavior of Irene Zubaida Khan and of Amnesty International, as reported in The Sunday Times
for February 21, 2010:
Salman Rushdie’s statement on Amnesty International
“Amnesty International has done its reputation incalculable damage by allying itself with Moazzam Begg and his group Cageprisoners, and holding them up as human rights advocates. It looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy, and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong. It has greatly compounded its error by suspending the redoubtable Gita Sahgal for the crime of going public with her concerns. Gita Sahgal is a woman of immense integrity and distinction and I am personally grateful to her for the courageous stands she made at the time of the Khomeini fatwa against The Satanic Verses, as a leading member of the groups Southall Black Sisters and Women Against Fundamentalism. It is people like Gita Sahgal who are the true voices of the human rights movement; Amnesty and Begg have revealed, by their statements and actions, that they deserve our contempt.”
Don’t be fooled by Irene Zubaida Khan’s outward pleasing exterior, nor her degrees from the right places. These mean nothing. Look at what AI protests, and what it ignores. And the main thing it ignores, ignores in a thousand ways, is what is done, by Muslims, in Muslim-dominated lands, to women and to non-Muslims. There is not a single case where AI has spoken up for those who have been humiliated, persecuted, attacked, imprisoned, murdered, in such places as Pakistan, for the crime of being Christian or Hindu, or in Bangladesh, for the crime of being Christian, or Hindu, or — see the recent piece hre on the Chittagong Hills — Buddhist.
She is a disgrace, but the only way to bring AI down is to withhold money. That is what its sponsors should do, if indeed they care about human rights. But do they? Or do they simply enjoy giving money to organizations that, they have been told by unthinking or sinister others, are important “human rights organizations”?
Want more? Here’s more:Â April 1, 2010 /Hugh