The Corner

Amnesty International Comes Out of the Closet — Endorses “Defensive” Jihad

Former Gitmo detainee Moazzam Begg is a committed jihadist and unabashed supporter of the Taliban. (See this Weekly Standard essay by Tom Joscelyn, which collects other Begg links.) In the fashion of CAIR — a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood formed to support its causes, such as Hamas, in the camouflage of a “civil rights” organization — Begg shrewdly realized he could win fawning admirers and allies on the Left by posing as a human rights activist. So he formed a group in Britain, Cageprisoners, which claims to be a civil rights organization whle promoting the Islamist agenda — and aligning with such other anti-American jihadist terrorists as would-be Christmas bomber Umar Abdulmutallab and Anwar al-Awlaki (an imam to some of the 9/11 hijackers and an inspiration to both Abdulmutallab and Fort Hood mass-murderer Nidal Hasan).

As Tom details, the disconnect between terror- and sharia-promotion, on the one hand, and civil rights, on the other, has weighed heavily on some authentic civil rights activists. After complaining for a couple of years to no avail about Amnesty International’s support for Begg, Gita Sahgal (head of AI’s “gender unit”) finally went public, pointing out that “to be appearing on platforms with Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment.”  For her trouble, Sahgal was reprimanded by AI and ultimately suspended. AI’s treatment of Sahgal prompted a “Global Petition” by some international human rights supporters, protesting AI’s action (in conjunction with all the usual grousing about the evils of the United States).

In response to the petition, AI Secretary-General Claudio Cordone has issued a letter in vigorous defense of AI’s collaboration with Begg and Cageprisoners. Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism has the story, here. In the letter, Cordone states AI’s position outright: advocacy of “jihad in self defence” is not antithetical to human rights. That Islamists reserve unto themselves the right to determine when Islam is, as they put it, “under siege,” and when, therefore, forcible jihad is justified, is plainly of no concern – only actions America’s self-defense are worthy of condemnation.

This has long been obvious when it comes to such Leftist bastions as AI and Human Rights Watch. AI has now made the obvious explicit.

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