Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #140 - Amnesty International: 'Violent Jihad is a Right!'

Photo by Dima Kolesnyk on Unsplash

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ― J. Krishnamurti


Information is power. When our societies are being infested and contaminated by an influx of bad money and bad ideologies that promote and back violence, anarchy, imperialism, and death, then we need to sit up and call it out.

The only reason we do not is because we don’t even have full information. While going through the facts of this newsletter today, I was wondering - how come I had not even heard of Gita Sahgal’s resignation and its ramifications?

How come the entire India media bypassed that?

What she said and the topic she raised her voice for, should have been earth-shattering. A Human Rights protector was promoting violent genocidal ideologies and terrorism - as it normalized violent jihad, and no one was perturbed about it?!

That one of the leaders of Amnesty International called out Amnesty’s perfidy where it considered violent jihad as a human right and no one even bothered about it shows the level of rot that the world is in!

She not just called out the perfidious mojo of Amnesty but also of all - yes every one of the main so-called Human Rights organizations. The implications of her words, accusations - specifically when they came from a leader in that organization - are and were profound!

That a society even has to discuss the “why” of this organization’s shut down in one’s own country should give us nightmares about our own state of understanding and basic literacy!

What is the way out for such a profoundly sick society?!


Amnesty International closes shop and whines

On September 29, 2020, Amnesty International announced that it is going to completely halt its operations in India. It cited “witch-hunt” - trying to play the victim card.

The Ministry of Home Affairs explained the reason for its actions against Amnesty.

The MHA in its statement on Tuesday said that the stand taken and the statements made by Amnesty International are unfortunate, exaggerated and far from the truth. "All the glossy statements about humanitarian work and speaking truth to power are nothing but a ploy to divert attention from their activities which were in clear contravention of laid down Indian laws. Such statements are also an attempt to extraneously influence the course of investigations by multiple agencies into the irregularities and illegalities carried out over the last few years," said the ministry. The government said that Amnesty is free to continue humanitarian work in India, as is being done by many other organizations but Indian laws do not allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations. (Source)

To fully understand where India’s Ministry of Home Affairs is coming from and why Amnesty International is so toxic an organization, let us go back around 10 years.

We will start in April 2010.

Suspension of Gita Sahgal, Head of Amnesty’s Gender Unit

On April 9, 2010, Gita Sahgal was suspended by Amnesty International from her job as head of Amnesty’s Gender Unit.

Why?

Because in an interview with London Sunday Times, she called out the links between Amnesty International and Moazzam Beg as well as his organization Cageprisoners. (Source)

Her parting of ways and the “disagreement” - or rather whistle-blowing on an international so-called Human Rights group - was picked up and commented on to spin the incident and even character assassinate Gita Sahgal.

the backlash

Victoria Brittain, a ‘journalist’ who has written for “The Guardian, ” tries to shame Gita Sahgal and polish the case of Moazzam Beg in this article on OpenDemocracy, a project by George Soros.

Ms Sahgal’s recent disagreement with her employer, Amnesty International, and her decision to publicise her views on that in an interview with the Sunday Times, has fed into an existing virulent islamophobia. It should have remained an important internal argument inside Amnesty International. Ms Sahgal’s ill-considered words about Moazzam Begg and others at Cageprisoners have caused very serious damage to their reputation, and provoked death threats. (Source)

The article, however, starts with a warning phrase “Dangerous Game” and then goes on to bat for Beg.

But who is this Moazzam Beg?

Moazzam Beg was a Guantanamo detainee from the UK, who wrote a commentary in Washington Post after Osama Bin Laden’s death where he called his killing as “extrajudicial.”  He has been introduced at the end of the article as:

a British citizen, was never charged by the United States and was released from Guantanamo by order of President George W. Bush in 2005. He is the author of “Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back,” and the director of the human rights group Cageprisoners.(Source

So, it is important to understand what Moazzam Beg and Cageprisoners group do?

Jennifer Rubin clarifies in Washington Post on the reasons why Cageprisoners and Beg are a dangerous bunch. (Source)

She first quotes Michael Weiss from the Daily Telegraph to explain the real ideology of the Cageprisoners group members.

Cageprisoners is a UK-based “human rights” group that claims, according to its website, to “raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror.” . . . Begg’s colleague, Asim Qureshi (who once told a Hizb ut-Tahrir rally in London that the “example” lies with jihadists in Chechnya, Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Afghanistan) has also adorned bin Laden with a gauzy posthumous halo. The al-Qaeda leader “served his cause”, we find Qureshi eulogising on the Cageprisoners website. “So we need to ask ourselves, is Osama bin Laden really dead or are has [sic] the shoot to kill policy merely created the grounds for spawning thousands more bin Ladens ready to take his mantle?”  It would appear that Cageprisoners is backing the latter, as it has recently posted this sick contribution to the debate about bin Laden’s death in Abbottabad: “BREAKING NEWS: BARACK OBAMA IS DEAD”.

Then she quotes Thomas Joscelyn -

As Alexander Hitchens of the Centre for Social Cohesion in the UK has thoroughly documented (PDF) previously, Begg and Cageprisoners have a longstanding relationship with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al Awlaki. Cageprisoners lobbied to free Awlaki from Yemeni custody after he was detained in 2006, broadcast a live message from Awlaki during a fundraising event, reproduced Awlaki’s propaganda on its web site, and published friendly interviews with him. Begg conducted these interviews with fawning questions for the al Qaeda imam. The effect of Cageprisoners’ work was to spread Awlaki’s hateful and dangerous message in the UK — which Awlaki has repeatedly targeted as a recruiting ground. (Source)(Original source)

Sympathies for Osama Bin Laden, hatred for Obama, and collaboration with Anwar al Awlaki - that in brief is the mojo of Cageprisoners and Moazzam Beg.

Amnesty International - promoter of Violent Jihad as a Human Right

And, that is precisely what Gita Sahgal called out in her statement in the New York Review of Books (Source)

The senior leadership of Amnesty International chose to answer the questions I posed about Amnesty International’s relationship with Moazzam Begg by affirming their links with him. Now they have also confirmed that the views of Begg, his associates, and his organization, Cageprisoners, do not trouble them. They have stated that the idea of jihad in self-defense is not antithetical to human rights; and have explained that they meant only the specific form of violent jihad that Moazzam Begg and others in Cageprisoners assert is the individual obligation of every Muslim.

I thank the senior leadership for these admissions and for further clarifying that concerns about the legitimization of Begg were longstanding at Amnesty International and that there was strong opposition from the head of the Asia program to a partnership with him. When disagreements are profound, it is best that disputes over matters of fact are reduced.

So let us understand this very clearly. Gita Sahgal, ex-head of the Gender Unit at Amnesty Internal unequivocally states:

  1. As per Amnesty International - the idea of jihad in self-defense is not antithetical to human rights

  2. violent jihad, as promoted by Moazzam Beg and his friends, is the individual obligation of every Muslim

And, THIS organization is the so-called premier Human Rights protector in the world.

In the video below, listen to her as she discusses her views and the work of Amnesty International. Please listen VERY carefully at 5:19.

She says very clearly that it wasn’t just Amnesty International which was complicit with the violent jihad as human rights ideology, but Liberty, Human Rights Watch as well!

In fact, the research that these so-called Human Rights organizations promote as theirs was authored by Moazzam Beg and Cageprisoners. In many cases, the research would be joint!

That is not all.

In 2016, Gita Sahgal also called out how Amnesty International supports Kashmiri terrorist groups.

Nehru kin and former head of Amnesty International's gender unit, Gita Sahgal, on Tuesday condemned the sedition charges against its India chapter but also slammed the NGO for its continuing support to Kashmiri terror groups. She called on Amnesty and other human rights NGOs "to live up to the standards they demand of others: be transparent, accountable and impartial". She said, to defend human rights in the future, organisations must be able to look at their own institutional failures. (Source)

I know some would ask the question - who exactly is Gita Sahgal?

She is the daughter of Nayantara Sahgal, sister of Jawaharlal Nehru. She is certainly not a ‘Sanghi’ by any stretch of the imagination.

So when you find Congress Party, and specifically the Gandhis create a hue and cry about the freezing of Amnesty International assets by the Modi Government, someone needs to remind them that Rahul Gandhi needs to make a call to his Aunt to understand what Amnesty International really is all about.

The difference between him and his Aunt is that she developed a bit of a spine!

the mystery of the kudrati biryani

The biggest mystery during the anti-CAA protests was the mystery of the “Kudrati Biryani” (Miracle Biryani). For, the protesters were gushing how no one gives or sends that biryani. It just appears “out of nowhere.” Remember this video?

On this planet, which rotates around its axis at 1000 mph and moves around the sun at a whopping 67000 mph, apparently, there is no room for “uppar-wala”. By the time you finish saying the word “uppar wala”, that dude ‘up there’ would be many miles away anyway!

So, it stands to reason that there was some other explanation. And there is.

The 15,000-page charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police has a lot of details on this. Here is a glimpse of how the money moved between people with an aim to instigate riots and violence and ‘manage protest sites.’ (Source)

Absolutely nothing ‘other-worldly’ about it!

The roles of all the main accused was to fund and execute the riot and violence as they managed the ‘protest sites’.

Police found that Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi, Tahir Hussain, Sifa-Ur-Rahman and Meeran Haider received a total of Rs 1,61,33,703 out of which they spent Rs 1,48,01,186 in “managing the protest sites as well as to execute the conspiracy hatched for the riots in Delhi.” (Source)

In any other country, no one would even touch such a toxic bunch of individuals with a long pole. But in India, we have people already batting for them.

And, interestingly propaganda on behalf of these anti-CAA ‘protesters’ - who were funded by various sources - was fully backed by Amnesty Group as well. (Source)

nota bene

88 million Indians may have been exposed to SARS-Cov2: One in every 15 individuals, or 6.6%, of people above the age of 10 years in India, have been exposed to Sars-Cov2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19), till August, according to the findings of Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) second national sero survey. Urban slum (15.6%) and non-slum (8.2%) areas had higher Sars-Cov2 infection prevalence than that of rural areas (4.4%), and prevalence in adults (above 18 years of age) was also higher at 7.1%, the findings show. (Source)

Shekhar Kapur is FTII Prez: Acclaimed filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has been appointed President of the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society and Chairman of the institute's governing council. (Source)

Africa’s low fatality rates: In May the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that 190,000 people on the continent could die if containment measures failed. Yet as the world marks 1 million COVID-19 deaths, Africa is doing much better than expected, with a lower percentage of deaths than other continents. The continent’s case-fatality count stands at 2.4%, with roughly 35,000 deaths among the more than 1.4 million people reported infected with COVID-19, according to Reuters data as at late Monday. In North America, it is 2.9%, and in Europe 4.5%

Apple’s Taiwanese Suppliers to invest ~ 1 Bn in India: Three Apple suppliers in Taiwan are reportedly planning to invest a total of US$900 million in India in the next five years under the Indian government's new incentive plan for large-scale electronics manufacturing. The three Taiwanese contract manufacturers — Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron — all plan to participate in India's US$6.65 billion production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. The scheme is expected to help add 0.5 percent to India's economic growth in five years by encouraging local electronics production and attracting large investments from major global manufacturers. (Source)

Tibetan library: This is the Library of the Sakya Monastery, in southern Tibet, built in 13th CE, one of the largest collection of Tibetan and Indic manuscripts and block-printed books, over 44,000 texts, shelves reach a height of 10 meters. Its cataloging began in 2005

Rwanda and its capital Kigali

Paul Kagame is the 4th and current President of Rwanda, having taken office in April 2000 when his predecessor, Pasteur Bizimungu, resigned. He started leading Rwanda after years of Civil War and genocide. The Congo Wars next door and the refugee influx was another issue. Kagame took office when Rwanda was in shambles.

Today, it is one of the cleanest countries in Africa and the economy has done extremely well. A new constitution was approved in 2003, which did not give power to either Hutus or Tutsis.

Kagame has liberalized the business, privatized the public sector, and reduced the red tape. As a result, the annual growth between 2004 and 2010 averaged 8% per year!

Watch this video and you will see the pride in the vlogger’s commentary and how he gushes over the situation in Rwanda. Wode Maya, the vlogger is from Ghana himself and he finds a fellow African country’s success redeeming in many ways. He shares the stage with a YouTuber from Rwanda as well to discuss the reasons for changes in Rwanda. Very insightful. (PS: Would have been better if he had kept his “bro” routine down a bit. He doesn’t need to copy the Americans! Africa is great in itself!)

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