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Saturday, March 01, 2014 

Amnesty Intl's jihadist connections

Amnesty International now has an embarrassment on their hands as an Islamofascist they were associating themselves with has been arrested:
Is "jihad in self-defense . . . antithetical to human rights? Our answer is no." That was how Claudio Cordone, then Amnesty International's interim secretary-general, responded in February 2010 to criticism after the human-rights group made ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg its poster child in protest of the alleged horrors of U.S. antiterror detention policies.

That's worth recalling now that British authorities have arrested Mr. Begg on suspicions of attending terrorist training camps and facilitating terrorism in Syria. Local police in Birmingham arrested Mr. Begg on Tuesday. He hasn't been charged, but under a British antiterror statute he can be detained for up to 14 days.

Mr. Begg, a British-Pakistani citizen, was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and transferred to Guantanamo as an enemy combatant. Soon after his release in 2005, Amnesty began sharing platforms with Mr. Begg, describing his U.K.-based Cageprisoners advocacy group as a "leading human rights organization" and inviting him to deliver the 2006 Amnesty International Annual Lecture in Belfast.

Amnesty ignored that Mr. Begg had written of his admiration for the Taliban. Nor was Amnesty bothered that, alongside his "human-rights" work, Mr. Begg was conducting fawning interviews with al Qaeda propagandists such as the late terrorist imam Anwar al-Awlaki.

In 2010, Gita Sahgal, who at the time headed Amnesty's gender unit, broke ranks by making public her opposition to promoting the views of "Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban." Amnesty responded by suspending Ms. Sahgal, and she was eventually pushed out. "I don't see Amnesty International and other human rights organizations coming to grips with the fact that their research and campaigning have been tainted" by their association with Mr. Begg, Ms. Saghal told us this week. In a statement, Amnesty told us that its "relationship with Moazzam Begg was as a victim of human-rights violations." It added that "everyone has the right to be presumed innocent until they are charged and proven guilty in a fair trial."

That's true. Then again, if the suspicions about Mr. Begg are proved in court he would join a long list of known Gitmo recidivists—including Said al-Shihri, a Saudi Arabian who co-founded al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Turkish terror facilitator Ibrahim Sen and dozens more who have returned to waging jihad since their release. It's a reminder of why the detention center was necessary and shouldn't be closed.

The story is also a reminder of the anti-American fervor and intellectual confusion that led Amnesty to team up with Mr. Begg. The world needs morally credible human-rights organizations. Amnesty too often isn't one of them.
They're not one of them at all, and never were. As a British-based movement, it's almost laughable they'd exploit beliefs more common in the USA when in their country's it's nearly the opposite situation, and people like them have no issues with it. Their actions are an offense to every decent person worried about jihadism, and they should not get funding from civilized societies.

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