It was not immediately clear whether Amnesty would reconsider its promotion of CagePrisoners – an organisation which supports and defends both detained and convicted Salafi Jihadi terrorists – in the aftermath of the Gita Sahgal affair.
During the course of the debate that followed Gita Sahgal’s departure from Amnesty, the politics of CagePrisoners had become widely known and understood. In particular, their relationship with the Al Qaeda recruiter, Anwar Al Awlaki – who encouraged the jihadist terrorism of Major Nidal Hasan and the Undiebomber – left little doubt as to their orientation. It was therefore a matter of enormous concern when the interim Secretary General, Claudio Cordone, argued that the concept of “defensive jihad” – which prominent CagePrisoners officers promote – was not antithetical to human rights.
The ideology of “defensive jihad”, as this letter to Amnesty from three prominent South Asian feminists explains, is part and parcel of a Salafi Jihadi politics which deploys the doctrine to create and defend Islamist regimes which abuse human rights in a horrific manner.
There was some hope that Amnesty had concluded that they would no longer work with organisations with a Salafi Jihadi politics.
Earlier this month, a letter to Sir Peter Gibson – who is chairing the inquiry into the mistreatment of detainees abroad – was published. The letter is signed by the following organisations:
- The AIRE Centre
- Amnesty International
- British Irish Rights Watch
- The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture
The letter demands extensive participation rights for “NGOs” and includes the following:
First, the allegations of UK involvement in illegal wide ranging in time and nature. Various NGOs have been at the forefront of establishing such patterns of conduct, and are in a position to assist the inquiry in designing its scope and in pursuing certain lines of inquiry.
NGOs should have the opportunity to be present throughout the inquiry, including representation by counsel, and have the opportunity to make submissions regarding any aspect of the inquiry.
In short, the coalition is demanding that groups which include CagePrisoners should be able to participate formally in this inquiry.
So, now let us turn to CagePrisoners.
Most of what we might say about CagePrisoners, we’ve said before. All you need to know about CagePrisoners, you can learn by watching one of its officers, Asim Qureshi, speaking on a Hizb ut Tahrir platform:
“We embrace the mercy. We embrace every single thing that is set upon us and we deal with it because we have no fear. So when we see the example of our brothers and sisters fighting in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan then we know where the example lies. When we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know what the solution is and where the victory lies. We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West.”
If there was every any doubt in your mind that CagePrisoners, ideologically speaking, is a Salafi Jihadi organisation, here is more evidence. CagePrisoners has just published a series of “poems” written by the “American Taliban”, John Walker Lindh.
Dear Cageprisoners Ltd.:
As salaamu ‘alaikum. Enclosed are three poems for the website. They are not copywritten, but please reproduce them exactly as they are presented here. Also, if possible, please notify me when you receive them.
Note that the poem ‘A Mussulman…” is not an entirely original composition; rather, it was based on a poem from the American Revolutionary War called “The Irishman’s Epistle to the Officers and Troops at Boston” which was published anonymously in 1775.
Jazakum Allahu Khairan.
Was salaama ‘alaikum,
Lindh makes no secret about his own politics in these poems. The first is illustrated with the following picture of Barack Obama, and is entitled “An iftar at the White House”
In the poem, Lindh mocks non-jihadist Muslim clerics who would attend a White House iftar as “field and house negroes”. Scornfully, he chastises them for eschewing racism, and for refusing to call for the destruction of Israel. Here’s what he imagines them saying:
We’re not anti-Semites
Our best friends are rabbis
We lay wreaths in Poland
Tear shedding and bawling
We’re Avraham’s babies
With your help then maybe
We’ll join with the jews in
A two-state solution
Lindh taunts non-jihadist Muslims for their opposition to Al Qaeda’s Anwar Al Awlaki:
Please do go kill Anwar
The card holding member
Of everything wicked
Shoot him with a rocket!
He washes our noggins
With all of his jargons
Qur’an and hadithes
He scares us to pieces
Another poem, “The Ballad Of The Flies” and also published by CagePrisoners, Lindh clearly sets out the Salafi Jihadi perspective, in its purest form:
To rule God’s earth by God’s own law
They sacrifice their lives
They spill their lifeblood willingly
Until God’s help arrives
Although victory entices them
What soothes them even more
Is hope to enter gardens lush
With honey milk and hur
The “hur” to which Lindh refers are the mythical virgins, with whom jihadists believe they will copulate after they have died.
However, it is the determination of Lindh to see “God’s earth” being ruled by “God’s law” that should give pause for thought. CagePrisoners have published a poem that advocates – as Qureshi did on the Hizb ut Tahrir platform – engaging in jihad in the service a human rights abusing theocratic state.
This is what “defensive jihad” means. That is the ideology which Amnesty believes is not antithetical to human rights. This is the politics which CagePrisoners supports and promotes.
And Amnesty, Justice, Liberty and all the rest of the great and the good believe that CagePrisoners should be given the opportunity to assist and guide the Inquiry into the Mistreatment of Prisoners.