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Aaro, Glavin: Bat for Sahgal

Two must-read pieces.

David Aaronovitch

When he was putting together his week of lectures on the war against terror at UCL in 2007, the would-be bomber Abdulmutallab invited Begg, Qureshi, Ridley and that dangerous idiot George Galloway to speak. He did so because he knew that the cumulative effect of their commissions and omissions would be to radicalise his audience. Not in defence of human rights. Not in favour of Western agendas such as Amnesty’s, but against democracy, women’s rights and peace. You have to be a something of a fool not to see it.

Terry Glavin:

To the embarrassment of its most principled supporters and against all internal entreaties, Amnesty International has persisted in whoring itself out to Cage Prisoners, a front for Taliban enthusiasts and al Qaida devotees that fraudulently presents itself a human rights group.

After two years of trying to reason with her bosses, Gita Sahgal, the head of AI’s gender unit, decided she’d finally had enough. This weekend, she blew the whistle. She gave the Times of London her January 30 appeal to her bosses, which states only the obvious: AI’s service to Cage Prisoners is both prone and supine, it “fundamentally damages Amnesty International’s integrity and, more importantly, constitutes a threat to human rights.” AI’s conduct has been driven by a cowardly fear of being labeled Islamophobic. More of the obvious: “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.”

Today, AI relieved Gita of her duties.

All along, while Amnesty International brass has been promoting and servicing Begg and Cage Prisoners, Begg and Cage Prisoners have been promoting and servicing Anwar al-Awlaki. And that’s not even the half of it.

So, enough. Amnesty International has long depended upon the trust, the goodwill and the generosity of liberals, civil libertarians, and people of conscience from across the political spectrum who have been pleased to send AI their money. Those people should stop.

Not a penny for AI until Gita Sahgal is reinstated and AI cuts all its ties to fraudsters like Cage Prisoners and Moazzam Begg.

In the meantime, if you want to directly invest some spare cash to free people from slavery, and get immediate results, you will be happy to know that you can help free the women of Afghanistan from the dungeons of obscurantism and illiteracy. You can do that by supporting the work of Ehsanullah Ehsan and the Afghan-Canadian Community Centre in Kandahar.

You can actually donate right now, without getting up from your computer, and the Canadian International Learning Foundation will even give you a tax receipt for your trouble.