Whose agenda to undermine Amnesty is this anyway?


by guest
17th February, 2010 at 11:44 pm    

This comment was posted by ‘rupewawa‘ in another thread and I thought it was spot on, so I’m re-posting it as a fresh blog-post. Hope the author doesn’t mind.

————-
I’m a fan of WLUML, SBS and WAF however I think their statements are misguided. Gita Sahgal is indeed a respected human rights activist but I think she has got it very wrong here.

To take a quote from their statement above:

Gita Sahgal’s concerns are about Amnesty International’s association with fundamentalist groups that have claimed to support the Taliban and promote ideas of the Islamic Right…
(my emphasis)

For this statement to be fair one would have to prove:
a) AI has “an association” with a “fundamentalist group”. As mentioned above AI are not associated with Cage Prisoners. They have conducted speaker tours with Begg who is not a fundamentalist. The quote Sunny uses above shows he is not a fundamentalist. If you think he is you will have to provide recent quotes that contradict the one above.

b) That Begg supports the Taliban. He has stated his position on this more times than I can count, it is a nuanced position which isn’t particularly liked by those who want them/us type simplicities. He is not a supporter of the Taliban, saying that the UK Govt should talk to the Taliban does not make him a supporter of the Taliban. Saying that they were better than the preceding 25yrs of bloody war does not make him a supporter of the Taliban. Those who advocated talks between IRA and UK were not pro-terrorist they were pro-peace.

c) That Begg promotes the ideas of the Islamic Right. As someone who went to Afghanistan to build a girls’ school I also do not think this is defensible. When he gives speeches about Gitmo, he talks about Gitmo. Not jihad, not death to Americans. He has even done a speaker tour with an ex-Gitmo US Guard. This is not the action of a jihadist who wants to kill Americans.

I commend WLUML for being the first of these groups (as far as I know) to condemn the right-wing hijacking of this debate. However, on the suspension of Gita Sahgal they only have half the story, hers.

I am not willing to condemn AI’s internal processes for this until we have all the information, at the moment we don’t. They are rightly not slagging her off in the press as she is doing to them. Of course you would suspend an emplyee if they did this. If they find severe failings and that she was right then she should be reinstated. But on the basis of what she has said on Begg and Cage Prisoners, I doubt that will happen.

On the wider issue of principle, I think those who are engaging in an anti-Amnesty campaign are not able to hold a consistent line on this. AI should campaign against Gitmo but not use former inmates to tell their story? They should protect Begg’s rights until he gets out and then ignore his rights to accountability?

Begg talking about his torture and imprisonment IS THE SAME THING as him *alledgedly* promoting radical Islam and support for the Taliban (even though there is not compelling proof of this)? Is a distinction between allowing someone to speak and “making them a poster boy”, if so what?

We immediately get into a grey area in what people keep trying desperately to make a black and white issue. What is most depressing about this is that it will do ABSOLUTELY nothing to promote the rights of women in Afghanistan or wherever. All it will do is damage a huge human rights org doing massive amounts of work on millions of issues all over the world and make it practically impossible for them to work with these women’s groups again.

I hope that doesn’t happen. But I can’t see a positive, progressive outcome to this that improves anyone’s human rights.

———————

I believe this is spot on and nuanced. But of course many of the ‘decents’ screaming hysterically for everyone at Amnesty to be fired will keep pretending otherwise.


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  1. pickles

    Blog post:: Who's agenda to undermine Amnesty is this anyway? http://bit.ly/abNuvi


  2. earwicga

    RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » Who’s agenda to undermine Amnesty is this anyway? http://bit.ly/9Uo6vk


  3. Neil Durkin

    RT @pickledpolitics: Blog post:: Who's agenda to undermine Amnesty is this anyway? http://bit.ly/abNuvi


  4. Gareth Winchester

    RT @pickledpolitics Pickled Politics » Who’s agenda to undermine Amnesty is this anyway? http://bit.ly/9Uo6vk




  1. earwicga — on 18th February, 2010 at 12:18 am  

    “I am not willing to condemn AI’s internal processes for this until we have all the information, at the moment we don’t”

    Quite right. But we do have information from Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director in his statement regarding Kerbaj’s second smear ST article in which Kerbaj “mischaracterizes my [Zarifi's]views”:

    “I have been a part of the internal AI debate surrounding the issue of AI’s collaboration with various groups as part of its campaign to close down Guantánamo. My opinions have been heard, considered, and where appropriate, implemented.”

    Why would Zarifi’s opinions have been taken into account and Gita Sahgal’s not been? Or is it perhaps that Sahgal aired her views and they were considered, and found inappropriate?

    Seems to me that Sahgal didn’t like this and went to the media, deliberately choosing the high profile Moazzam Begg and a known hack who has left a trail of accusations of Islamophobia following previous articles. But then this is what the employment tribunal is for, and we await results from this.

    Anybody with any principles wouldn’t have chosen to smear Moazzam Begg, and would have chosen to resign from an employer who she is so unhappy with. Simples.

  2. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 12:26 am  

    Excellent comment from Rupewawa.

  3. Sunny — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:06 am  

    Sorry, but some certain people have been banned from commenting on PP. I’m under no obligation to host people who only come here to abuse others. They can snipe over at their own blogs – I don’t really care. But not at my yard.

    Hence, various comments have been removed.

  4. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:07 am  

    Och, this is a waste of time.

    Either Sunny lets you speak here and I take your entire project to bits, or he doesn’t.

  5. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:17 am  

    Sunny, name and shame please.

  6. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 7:46 am  

    There are sufficient folk of a truly decent point of view to take apart some of the hysteria that surrounds this case. Although, coming on here and insulting your host, just because you think you can, is pretty well, well, rude and uncivil. If you have something to say, saying it without rancour and you’ll be OK. At least in my experience.

    I’m of the view that all voices should be heard, but I’ve also seen some folk trying to drive a coach and horses through that maxim. Why would anyone host direct insults, rather than reasoned debate?

  7. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 7:55 am  

    A.C. @ 9

    As far as I recall, what you say in your first paragraph is true.

    I am a tad surprised that you would be singled out for deletion.

    Sunny?

  8. cjcjc — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:07 am  

    I’m sorry, but it is precisely a, b and c which are in dispute.

    a – as Begg is the leading light in CP, which does promote extremists such as Awlaki (as does Begg himself) that doesn’t really wash

    b – maybe no longer, that is possible though given his promotion of other extremists it is also quite possible that he is lying

    c – is there any independent corroboration whatever wrt this supposed girls school? and given CP’s promotion of figures on the Islamist right (is there an Islamist left?) your assertion is simply incorrect

    Sunny commented on one of the other AI threads (how many are there to be?!) in response to the question “is Begg lying?” – “to be honest, I don’t know”.
    A more realistic view than that of the author of this piece.

    To me the balance of evidence is very clear.

    Though I understand to others that it is not, the views of SBS and now WUML must be taken seriously, even if Mad Mel must not!!

  9. Sarah AB — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:12 am  

    This doesn’t seem a completely black and white issue to me either and I’ve found it helpful to read the posts here even though I’m rather more inclined to Gita’s side. I’m all for a ‘nuanced’ debate – so it doesn’t help, I don’t think, to imply that if you have concerns about Amnesty you want everyone who works there to be fired or are only getting involved in order to damage it. I’ve been a member of Amnesty for fifteen years and have done door to door collections for them in the past and I find this suggestion very irritating.

    Is there any evidence that Begg went to Afghanistan to build a girls’ school by the way? Given that anyone could *say* they’ve done this I don’t think this assertion ought to get repeated as though it was an established fact.

  10. Sarah AB — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:15 am  

    I’m reposting as it didn’t seem to work first time

    This doesn’t seem a completely black and white issue to me either and I’ve found it helpful to read the posts here even though I’m rather more inclined to Gita’s side. I’m all for a ‘nuanced’ debate – so it doesn’t help, I don’t think, to imply that if you have concerns about Amnesty you want everyone who works there to be fired or are only getting involved in order to damage it. I’ve been a member of Amnesty for fifteen years and have done door to door collections for them in the past and I find this suggestion very irritating.

  11. cjcjc — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:21 am  
  12. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:47 am  

    cjcjc,

    Neither of these articles by ‘Lucy Lips’ lands a punch. Unless you are of the habibi school of journalism, perhaps? Y’know how you are a jihadi just ’cause you linked to a discussion on them?

    Shamit, Arif and I are discussing Moazzam Begg elsewhere on this site. Perhaps you would like to lead a bit of evidence there? Shamit certainly has:

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/7537#comment-193821

  13. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:59 am  

    cjcjc,

    Whilst, in normal circumstances Moazzam Begg should not be required to tell all, in a new revelatory age, perhaps he ought to. For there is a doubt about where he stands right now.

    He should come clean on what he sees as his position and let the rest of us decide whether we support it or not. For clarity, he should do that in common English.

    Lest he be suspected of other motives.

  14. cjcjc — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:07 am  

    Really?

    You’re taking the Nelson act to extremes now!
    Put the telescope to your good eye!!

  15. Sarah AB — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:07 am  

    I know this question has been asked before – by cjcjc (comment 11) most recently – but is there any evidence that Begg *did* go to Afghanistan to set up a girls’ school? Given that it’s an easy thing to say (and precisely the kind of assertion that might be calculated to soothe the worries of people troubled by Gita Sahgal’s observations) it seems quite important that this question should be answered.

  16. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:21 am  

    cjcjc,

    Show me the ships!

  17. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:25 am  

    Sarah AB,

    Yes. That is the sort of question Moazzam Begg really needs to authenticate.

    I assume you’d also like to see him speak out and not be a silence?

    Which he seems to be right now.

  18. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:33 am  

    It cannot be too difficult, I’d have thought, to find independent evidence that Moazzam Begg helped to build a school and run it. The acid burners would have seen it as a victory for insanity and would have told us so. Or the sensible party would have told us about it?

    Either way, where is the evidence?

    One way or another, evidence appears absent.

  19. Gsirrah — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:44 am  

    Does anybody know the age of girls served by the school Begg was trying to set up?

    If they were under eight then he was merely in line with Taliban policies of the time. If it was a school for girls over eight then this detail could be used as evidence of him going against the Taliban. As it is, without this information I’m not entirely sure what use this detail (Begg saying that he was setting up a school for girls) is to any side of debate about Amnesty/Cageprisoners etc.

  20. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:51 am  

    Gsirrah,

    No one seems to know anything about Begg’s school. Thank you for being a complete ageist.

    Eight, you say?

    If that was what Begg stood for, then…

  21. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 9:57 am  

    You what! Gsirrah?

    I hope I am misinterpreting you @ 22.

    You are excusing that shite?

  22. Arif — on 18th February, 2010 at 10:05 am  

    Douglas and Sarah, while I share your interest, there are some things troubling me about setting up a requirement for Moazzam Begg to adhere either to the standards of a “new revelatory age” or to prove a counterfactual (that he is not a dragon).

    For one thing, I do not think anything I say could reassure people that I am not evil, if they are intent on believing that I am evil.

    The next thing is that the effort to prove myself is in itself counter-productive because it is alienating.

    For example, I am sure some people want to put Gita Sahgal under a similar microscope, based on their prejudices that feminists are using human rights to legitimise an anti-Islamic agenda. The more Gita Sahgal is targeted for alleged anti-Islam thought crimes, the more I would expect feminists (sympathetic to Gita Sahgal) to feel alienated from those who call themselves Muslims.

    There is an underlying paranoia, which makes a dialogue impossible and ends up as an imposition of power: who decides what thoughts are acceptable and whose fears need to be assuaged?

    I do agree that it is important to be able to trust one another, and that we all need to show one another that we are trustworthy. As individuals we will all (including me) have different prejudices as to who we believe and trust and who needs to prove themselves more.

    As a society, I hope that we can be more self-critical for the sake of protecting minority rights. Any safeguards – defining individuals as dangers to society – should be based on consistent principles directly relevant to the nature of the danger, not connected to the suspicions and fears of dominant cultures.

    For AI, they also need to define the principles of engagement with others – and apply them consistently. If the principle is to be that the person has always campaigned for universal human rights as understood by someone or other, I think it would be too strict, and would probably rule out many Amnesty members themselves. But if this is what people are advocating, they should say so clearly, so that others can judge the implications and constructively discuss the options.

    Otherwise Gita Sahgal’s campaign is in vain.

  23. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 10:07 am  

    Gsirrah,

    Have you any evidence whatsoever that Moazzam Begg did set up a school in Afghanistan?

  24. Sarah AB — on 18th February, 2010 at 10:09 am  

    Even if the girls were under 8 that would at least establish that Begg was telling the truth – even if his actions were compatible with the Taliban’s hateful regime.

    @Douglas – I don’t know – I suppose I would like him to clarify this particular point, certainly.

  25. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 10:18 am  

    Arif @25,

    You are not evil. You are a very nice person.

    You will probably hate me for this, but I’m going to quote you:

    I do agree that it is important to be able to trust one another, and that we all need to show one another that we are trustworthy. As individuals we will all (including me) have different prejudices as to who we believe and trust and who needs to prove themselves more.

    That is all I am asking from anyone. Anyone at all.

    This is a rigged discussion, one in which good people are set against each other for no good reason. Well, no good reason that I can see.

  26. Arif — on 18th February, 2010 at 10:23 am  

    Morrigan, if you are making those points towards me, I am sorry I do not understand the relevance of what you are saying to what I am arguing.

    Otherwise, if you are just making general unrelated points, then that’s fine.

  27. joe90 — on 18th February, 2010 at 11:10 am  

    Good article by rupewawa rips to shreds the neo cons propaganda against begg and amnesty international.

  28. Sarah AB — on 18th February, 2010 at 11:13 am  

    Asif – thanks and I certainly think you raise some valid points. It’s difficult to tell where legitimate concerns about Islamist regimes shade into Islamophobia (compare the difficulty policing the boundary between legitimate criticism of Israel/antisemitsm.) I agree that consistent principles are important for Amnesty – it’s my understanding that they *do* have rather strict criteria about which groups they engage with – which is perhaps why this particular link has caused alarm. You use the phrase ‘principles of engagement’ – and there are of course *levels* of engagement. If it’s just a matter of supporting someone who is being tortured then it doesn’t really matter what the torturee has done – he still deserves to be supported – but no more than that. To me the level of engagement with Begg seems too high based on what I’ve read – although I’m certainly not saying his testimony could not be used in some way to help Amnesty campaign againt Gitmo etc. There is some middle ground of engagement between minimal support for someone who has committed serious crimes and enthusiastic and sustained collaboration.

  29. Dr Aisha Gill — on 18th February, 2010 at 11:58 am  
  30. Arif — on 18th February, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

    Dr Aisha Gill

    I would appreciate it if you would clarify how you think Amnesty to should vet people they work with. In particular:

    1. Should AI undertake active vetting or await allegations?
    2. If there is an allegation, should those being accused have a right to respond to it?
    3. What are the standards that any person who shares a platform with AI must show? How will they have to prove this?

    I do think there should be processes and standards, but until Gita Sahgal or someone else suggests what these should be, it can end up looking like a witch-hunt rather than a matter of principle.

  31. Shamit — on 18th February, 2010 at 12:44 pm  

    AC

    Please don’t talk out of your you know what?

    Sunny has not deleted comments supporting Ms. Sahgal but he deleted idiots who had nothing to offer to the debate except for calling him names.

    If I were in his shoes I would have banned a hell of a lot more people – and I told him so yesterday and he laughed it off. Saying it comes with the territory. So please don’t undermine Sunny or his willingness to have a debate.

    I think he is up for a debate anytime but cussing him and PP unnecessarily and in a juvenille fashion is simply not acceptable. And I am not a member of the editorial team of PP but I enjoy visiting and reading and writing here.

    So shut it man. If being annoying was the criteria then you would have been banned a long time ago.

  32. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:05 pm  

    Shamit @ 38,

    Do you recall A.C. being nasty or summat?

    I don’t.

    I certainly don’t accept anyone cussing our host here, however if that is the case, well, hell mend them. I think you’ll find I have been consistent on that. I cannot stand the fake vituperation that he seems to attract.

    I can see why Faisal, oor Sid if you like, has been banned. He has crossed a line I find unacceptable. It is completely unreasonable to take personal animosity into a public place.

    A.C.?

    What is your recollection of his or her posts? My recollection isn’t the same as yours, I think.

  33. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:09 pm  

    Hmm…

    I said that I didn’t recollect A.C. as being an idiot like Faisal. I asked Shamit if he recalled A.C. insulting our good host. And this doesn’t get published?

  34. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:09 pm  

    I agree with Shamit.

    AC, if you were being objective you will agree Sunny is a very hospitable host. He could simply have PP be a site for others to come and debate, bait and insult; but he chooses to actually comment. Which I believe is a positive thing.

    I’ve always objected to banning of folk, unless you can toy with them its neither fun nor productive. So for the sake of engagement it makes sense to do a clear out from time to time. For me these are people who continue to post comments and material which is repetitive and is generally intended to smear or distract. Its definitely no fun trying to counter and rebut the same stuff week in week out.

    Well done Sunny for keeping your head.

  35. MoreMediaNonsense — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:30 pm  

    Interesting stuff from Aisha Gill, especially :

    “The world is a complicated place and freedom has more than one enemy. It is folly to assume that everyone imprisoned by the US is a good guy or that anyone who opposes US imperialism is a friend of the people. Now more than ever these principles need to be clear. The website Human Rights for All makes this point in several places, and has posted a petition by three prominent South Asian feminists, which reads in part:

    We believe that Gita Sahgal has raised a fundamental point of principle which is “about the importance of the human rights movement maintaining an objective distance from groups and ideas that are committed to systematic discrimination”.”

    Personally I would go further on this, I think AI should spend about 1000th of its time and resources on the likes of Begg and Gitmo bay (especially now that Gitmo is in the process of closing down) as it does on the vastly worse HR abuses we see all over the world in dictatorships and tyrannies. This does not mean that excesses in the “War on Terror” should be ignored but in the wide world of HR abuses where should the vast bulk of the resources be directed ?

  36. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:32 pm  

    I’ve asked Rumbold why my comments have been refused on this thread. I cannot recall anything that A.C. said that was that offensive. Neither can I see why my comments have been edited out.

    But there you go….

  37. Kulvinder — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:45 pm  

    For what its worth; personally i don’t have a problem with AI ‘using’ Begg to highlight GB. The victims of oppression are never ‘pure’; even gandhi was wrong on occasion.

    So whats AI to do? Take the rightous line and advocate the rights of people whom it fundamentally disagrees with on other issues – whilst keeping them at more than an arms length; or accept the people whose rights it champions aren’t ever pluralists or pacifists and that ‘using them’ – in a limited way – to highlight important issues is a necessary part of the job.

    I favour the latter; though i accept many disagree.

  38. Kulvinder — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:46 pm  

    nb i think people may be mistaking the spam filter for censorship

  39. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:48 pm  

    Kulvinder.

    nb i think people may be mistaking the spam filter for censorship

    Perhaps, but I’ve never been there before…

  40. cjcjc — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:49 pm  

    Just one arm’s length will do!

  41. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 1:57 pm  

    Kulvinder,

    Maybe. I have never been there before and I have asked Rumbold why that might be. I may. or may not. keep you posted…

  42. bananabrain — on 18th February, 2010 at 2:35 pm  

    We believe that Gita Sahgal has raised a fundamental point of principle which is “about the importance of the human rights movement maintaining an objective distance from groups and ideas that are committed to systematic discrimination”.

    that seems fair enough to me. i don’t understand why it should be so controversial to suggest it.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  43. Gsirrah — on 18th February, 2010 at 2:44 pm  

    Douglas Clark. I was not excusing anything, I think I have failed to make myself clear. Let me try again.

    1) Some people are using Begg’s (alleged) involvement with a girl’s school as evidence that he did not go along with the Taliban.

    2) It is difficult to say whether this argument holds water because

    3) The Taliban DID allow girl’s schools for pupils aged under 8.

    4) Therefore, if Begg’s (alleged) school catered for girl’s aged under 8 then it does not show him to have gone against the Taliban’s sexist policies.

    My point is basically that, so long as we don’t know anything about this school then it is unwise to adduce it as evidence for anything.

  44. Random Guy — on 18th February, 2010 at 2:58 pm  

    Look, its quite simple really. At a time when the Intelligence Services/Government were coming under heavy fire for how it broke a 400 year-old legal precedent and basically outright lied about torture, something else was needed that was juicy enough to obfuscate and distract. Amnesty International just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time, with the right type of story.

    And regarding Sunny deleting comments, well, he has had the patience of a saint with certain individuals, who continue to return with nothing new to offer. We need the opposite of that to stimulate debate.

  45. MoreMediaNonsense — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:06 pm  

    “something else was needed that was juicy enough to obfuscate and distract.”

    ?????

    Are you seriously saying that Gita Saghal spoke out on this to “obfuscate and distract” attention from the govts legal difficulites ? If not that what are you on about exactly ?

    I thought Flying Halfwit was bad but this ?

  46. Sunny — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:21 pm  

    URgh, some comments got taken into the spam filter, other comments by trolls have been deleted. And yes, that includes A.C., who seems to come here these days only to throw accusations of racism or to talk about my facial hair.

  47. Muslim — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:24 pm  

    Morrigan
    “As if Sunny has lots of ‘new’ stuff to offer?! He has posted 4 threads on this Amnesty topic, all saying broadly the same thing.”

    How different from Harrys Place which had about 6 threads attacking Moazzem Begg all solely because David Toube humiliated himself publically by haranguing Begg for fighting the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia.

  48. Morrigan — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:32 pm  

    Random Guy,

    And regarding Sunny deleting comments, well, he has had the patience of a saint with certain individuals, who continue to return with nothing new to offer

    As if Sunny has lots of ‘new’ stuff to offer?! He has posted 4 threads on this Amnesty topic, all saying broadly the same thing.

    It’s not as if Team Sunny are saying dramatically new things in their comments each time either. They are repeating themselves too.

    Nowhere does it state that comments must ’say something new’ in order to survive. There aren’t an infinite number ways to say that fundamentalist Islam sucks, after all.

    This is a public blog run by a man who aspires to a certain level of political influence. If he can’t take the rough with the smooth then he shouldn’t be involved in politics, pickled or otherwise.

    I don’t advocate personal attacks, but looking at the case of A.C. above it would appear he deleted purely because he didn’t like the content, not for any actual misdemeanour. That is poor blogging.

  49. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:40 pm  

    Morrigan.

    I don’t see why anyone should pay the slightest heed to you.

  50. Sunny — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:47 pm  

    As if Sunny has lots of ‘new’ stuff to offer?! He has posted 4 threads on this Amnesty topic, all saying broadly the same thing.

    You’re not obliged to come here and read it. Do bugger off if you don’t like the content.

  51. A.C. — on 18th February, 2010 at 3:58 pm  

    See your emails you bald prick, and yes that is ad homo.

  52. MiriamBinder — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:02 pm  

    How delightful … Do grow up!

  53. BrownEyedGirl — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:03 pm  

    {As if Sunny has lots of ‘new’ stuff to offer?! He has posted 4 threads on this Amnesty topic, all saying broadly the same thing.

    You’re not obliged to come here and read it. Do bugger off if you don’t like the content.}

    yes 4 threads and you lot all repeat the same boring arguements on each, and spread out into other no related threads.
    how dull

  54. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:08 pm  

    Not really Brown Eyed Girl, it is a developing story.

  55. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:13 pm  

    A.C. @ 51,

    Whatever support I gave you is withdrawn. It is exactly that sort of thing I thought you were above. More fool me!

  56. cjcjc — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:16 pm  

    how dull

    Fortunately for you, then, there are 1000000000000000000 other blogs available to entertain you

  57. earwicga — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:19 pm  

    @35 It is a good statement from WLUML.

    Shame Gita Sahgal’s fansite: Human Rights For All doesn’t contain any rebuttals from the other parties in this matter though.

  58. douglas clark — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:25 pm  

    Some of us quite like this place. Just saying…

  59. Sunny — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:32 pm  

    Fortunately for you, then, there are 1000000000000000000 other blogs available to entertain you

    Think you should take that into consideration too cjcjc.

    Anyway – I’m not stopping, there’s plenty more coming later today and tomorrow.

  60. Morrigan — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:37 pm  

    Miriam Binder

    How delightful … Do grow up!

    To be fair (which is what this blog purports to do…) I did see a calm and reasonable comment from AC earlier that was removed very swiftly.

    If he’s not allowed to state his case, it’s a bit snyde to leave his angry words as if that’s all he said when it isn’t.

  61. A.C. — on 18th February, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    Douglas and MB if you get to read this, my earlier responses to Sunny at 46 were removed despite being calm and polite. Sunny has chosen not to delete my angry response.

  62. BrownEyedGirl — on 18th February, 2010 at 5:20 pm  

    Douglas Clark – not really a developing story, it did decent into a bit of a personal school yard spat between commentors.

    The case at hand isnt about Moazzam, not really, not beyond him being the

    Look AI is very very careful about who it works with, take my word on that. However, gone are the days were all its cases relate to people who have rightly spoken out about something and become a political prisoner.

    AI covers all Human Rights abuses including torture and secret detention with out charge/trial. They are right to do this as the point is not whether the individuals are squeekly clean and platable or not, it is that we are all born with rights that should be respeceted and that if there is evidence against anyone detained they should be dealy swiftly using due process. Often they use personal testomony of people who have experienced the abuse.

    The case is that a member of staff objected to the use of a certain individual in relation to a certain campaign. Her objections were raised internally and the organisation may not have agree with her reasoning or what ever.

    IT was then down to the individual to decide whether they where unhappy about this enough to leave their job. or to accept the organisations decission

    However the individual then choose to publicly raise her concern in the media critising her employer, she was therefore suspended (or has her employment been fully terminated) Either way this will be because she had broken a clause in her contract – all businesses have them.

    To critise AI for this series of events is seperate from crisitisng there decision on Moazzam. If melanie Phillips wrote a blog publicly complaining about the daily mail on an issue she would soon be in the same position.

  63. Sunny — on 18th February, 2010 at 5:32 pm  

    To be fair (which is what this blog purports to do…) I did see a calm and reasonable comment from AC earlier that was removed very swiftly.

    Actually, AC’s so-called “calm responses” only came after he got deleted several times for being abusive and for making ad hominem attacks – the main reason he comes here. He suddenly realised he was under notice and tried to pretend to be calm. His last comment, which I’ve left up here, shows his true face.

    As I said – if you don’t like that I’m not going to tolerate idiots who only come here to swear on my blog – feel free to leave.

  64. Random Guy — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:06 pm  

    MoreMediaNonsense @ 45: “Are you seriously saying that Gita Saghal spoke out on this to “obfuscate and distract” attention from the govts legal difficulites ? If not that what are you on about exactly ?

    I thought Flying Halfwit was bad but this ?”

    Er…no you moron, actually I was referring to the News International aspect of this, and that certain individuals with an agenda (HP’s owner for example) have been using this as to paint broad brush strokes….ah why do I bother, you aren’t really worth the effort to be honest (I just saw your pathetic excuse for a website).

  65. A.C. — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:23 pm  

    Sunny that is a straight up lie.

    Name one ad hominem attack I made that you deleted.

  66. MoreMediaNonsense — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:24 pm  

    Random Guy – so its all a Murdoch conspiracy then to distract attention on behalf of the govt ? Or HP and Nick Cohen in conspiracy with New Labour ? Do tell.

    Do you really and truly think the “Decents” are highlighting the issue of Gita Sahgal to deflect attention from the Binyam Mohammed case last week on behalf of the govt ?

  67. Sunny — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:27 pm  

    There was something some other idiot said about my haircut. I believe you laughed at that and then said something about me only writing this stuff for my ego and that no one listened to me anyway. I don’t want to lie – I would just rather you fucked off somewhere else and bad-mouthed me from there: I pay no attention to you at all. I just don’t want you dimwits polluting my blog. Feel free to screech and wail on others blogs about me – I never started blogging to impress the likes of you anyway.

  68. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    Sunny

    ‘Anyway – I’m not stopping, there’s plenty more coming later today and tomorrow.’

    Yes more please. I think there is a very very important story running on all the news channels which plays into all this.

  69. dave bones — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:29 pm  

    Jumping the interpersonal stuff which I have missed

    28 Sarah AB

    “consistent principles are important for Amnesty”

    Why?

    Human Rights is a live issue of debate isn’t it?

    Especially between campaigning feminists and campaigning Islamists, it is going to be a heap big can of bloody worms. This lady had called Begg a Jihadi and “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban”- in the press.

    They are going to be pissed off, big time. The knee jerk reaction to sack her appears institutional to me. And institutional in an outmoded sense which will enrage feminists, who want to support Amnesty.

    Why can’t they say- yes, we are angry she has gone to the press, especially the fucking Times, yes we are all having a bit of a row about this at the moment, feel free to join in, oh and Melanie Phillips can fuck herself.

    I think people in the 21st century prefer a bit of honesty and a bit of personality to the party line. Look at Boris, Tony Banks (God rest his soul)

  70. Random Guy — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:44 pm  

    MoreMediaNonsense @ 66: zzzzzzz, whatever.

  71. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:44 pm  

    Moremedianonsense,

    ‘Do you really and truly think the “Decents” are highlighting the issue of Gita Sahgal to deflect attention from the Binyam Mohammed case last week on behalf of the govt ?’

    I don’t think that, I think its much bigger. Its softening up the public to accept torture. That will provide cover for its use in the recent past, and allow it to be exercised in the future with a minimum of fuss.

    Its the equivalent of re-writing the Geneva convention, and protection of refugees which have been mooted. It will be as if there had been no universal declaration of human rights.

    That is the gravity of this onslaught.

  72. Don — on 18th February, 2010 at 6:57 pm  

    Refresh,

    I would genuinely like to hear you expand on that. Perhaps an article? I recognise that there are some that way inclined, but I hadn’t thought of it in those terms.

  73. MoreMediaNonsense — on 18th February, 2010 at 7:03 pm  

    71 – Well maybe some are pushing that but I very much doubt its a conspiracy on behalf of the govt.

    If however you mean that the intellectual mainstream is moving to be more authoritarian on issues of national security, that probably is true. One of the main reasons of course is that people worldwide feel under threat from mad Jihadi loons.

    Shouting “fascist” at people because they want strong action against the Islamic extremist threat that may infringe human rights (eg control orders) is just counter productive. Having such measures in place does not mean the next step is inevitably legalising torture, do you really think that ? As with all these issues there are shades of grey rather than black and white here.

  74. Yasmin — on 18th February, 2010 at 7:05 pm  

    Support Amnesty Facebook group? I think there should be one!

  75. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 7:10 pm  

    Don, I just don’t have the stamina or the time.

    ‘I recognise that there are some that way inclined’

    It is those we have to watch for, especially when in positions of influence. Nick Cohen et al I believe are pretty much pushing that line, and see AI as getting in the way. A euphemism you will see (a la Melanie Philips) is that we, the west have gone soft.

    And as such I would say that the battle was never Gita Saghal v. Amnesty International; it is the whole concept of universal rights. Gita just happened to have come along in a timely (for some) manner.

  76. Refresh — on 18th February, 2010 at 7:20 pm  

    Nomorenonsense,

    It would be instructive for our resident historians to dig out use of torture exercised in the name of the government right up to the 60s and 70s. And recognise that it being unlawful is relatively new.

    The subcontracting of the practise is far far worse, in as much as its cowardly to have someone else do what you wouldn’t/couldn’t do yourself; and it ensures that you will forever support the practise in other countries where you, ostensibly, claim to be promoting democracy and universal human rights.

  77. Niels Christensen — on 18th February, 2010 at 8:57 pm  

    There’s no doubt that Mr. Begg is an efficient mann. He arrived i Afghanistan in mid 2001, and soon thereafter, he’s part of a project of building, starting and running a girl school.
    Nothing about problems in connection with this, not any descriptions of the activity.
    But okay, thats not what is all about. He moves to Afghanistan by free will, at a time where it’s well known : that Taliban has killed thousands of shia muslims, anyone who disagrees with the Taliban on their interpretation of Islam is put to jail or killed, and girls are not allowed to go to school.. So much for Mr. Beggs respect for freedom of expression.
    Mr. Begg mostly reminds me of the socialist of the seventies, some thought Albania was paradise, others China or the Soviet Union.
    When criticized , there answers always were : well sacrifices has to be made, or as they said in the thirties : under Mussolini the trains run on time.
    There isn’t much in what Mr. Begg is saying today that support the opinion, that he has changed his mind.

  78. KJB — on 20th February, 2010 at 11:15 pm  

    Wow, thanks, rupewawa! I tried to say essentially this earlier, but much more messily.

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