maandag 19 april 2010

Amnesty International en de Jihad


Zelfs Salman Rushdie heeft de petitie hiertegen ondertekend, samen met nog 2.000 anderen:

Ms. Saghal's objections have been joined by nearly 2,000 others, many of them leading human-rights campaigners, who have put their names to a petition defending her and denouncing Amnesty's cooperation with Mr. Begg. More remarkable, however, has been Amnesty's defense of its work with Mr. Begg.

In his memoir, Mr. Begg acknowledges that he moved to Afghanistan in the summer of 2001 to "live in an Islamic state . . . free from the corruption and despotism of the rest of the world." He added that "the Taliban were better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past 25 years."
 
In a letter to the petitioners, Amnesty Secretary General Claudio Cordone praised Mr. Begg for advocating detainee rights "within the same framework of universal human rights standards that we are promoting." For good measure, Mr. Cordone added that Mr. Begg's belief in "jihad in self-defense" is not necessarily "antithetical to human rights."
 
Ik vind het ongelofelijk hoe ver Amnesty gaat in het verdedigen van deze man, en het vergoeilijken van zijn ideeën. Dit staat in schril contrast met haar felle kritiek op Israël en de VS, die in haar ogen niks goed schijnen te kunnen doen.
 
RP
 
 
Why is a human rights group working with a Taliban supporter?

Amnesty International defines itself as "a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all." So why is the organization working hand-in-glove with one of the Taliban's most notorious defenders?
 
That's a question serious human-rights campaigners are asking themselves in light of Amnesty's curious collaboration with Moazzam Begg. Mr. Begg is a British citizen and former Guantanamo detainee who, following his release in 2005, wrote a memoir and became director of a group called Cageprisoners, which Amnesty calls a "leading human rights organization."
 
In his memoir, Mr. Begg acknowledges that he moved to Afghanistan in the summer of 2001 to "live in an Islamic state . . . free from the corruption and despotism of the rest of the world." He added that "the Taliban were better than anything Afghanistan has had in the past 25 years."
 
Such views alone might have at least given Amnesty pause before it decided to offer him speaking platforms and bring him along to a meeting at 10 Downing Street. It certainly raised questions for Gita Sahgal, until recently the head of Amnesty's Gender Affairs Unit, who was suspended from her job earlier this year for opposing the organization's links to Mr. Begg and Cageprisoners. Ms. Saghal left her job for good on Friday, saying in a statement posted on the Internet that Amnesty has "made a mockery of the universality of rights."
 
Ms. Saghal's objections have been joined by nearly 2,000 others, many of them leading human-rights campaigners, who have put their names to a petition defending her and denouncing Amnesty's cooperation with Mr. Begg. More remarkable, however, has been Amnesty's defense of its work with Mr. Begg.
 
In a letter to the petitioners, Amnesty Secretary General Claudio Cordone praised Mr. Begg for advocating detainee rights "within the same framework of universal human rights standards that we are promoting." For good measure, Mr. Cordone added that Mr. Begg's belief in "jihad in self-defense" is not necessarily "antithetical to human rights."
 
In an email to us, Mr. Cordone insisted that Amnesty "does not now and has never supported any form of jihad," and that Mr. Begg and his group "condemn all attacks on civilians." That's nice to know, even if the concept of "defensive jihad" has been previously used by al Qaeda and the Taliban to justify the beading of "apostates" and the public lashing of women. As Ms. Saghal points out, "Adherence to violent jihad, even if it indeed rejects the killings of some civilians, is an integral part of a political philosophy that promotes the destruction of human rights generally."
 
None of this should be hard to grasp. Still, it's a pity that a group that was born to give voice to the victims of oppression should now devote itself to sanitizing the oppressors. The novelist Salman Rushdie, among the signatories of the petition, put it well when he said that "Amnesty and Begg have revealed, by their statements and actions, that they deserve our contempt."
 
 

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