Amnesty International sounded like a great idea when I first heard of it. Their ideal of supporting he release and rights of political prisoners worldwide sounded like a really worthy cause way back. It still would be but unfortunately Amnesty turned out to be more driven by leftist politics and grandstanding towards that end, rather than being a crusading group determined to stand up to oppression regardless of who was carrying it out, or their ideology.
It became blindingly obvious that the organization was agenda driven when despite the horrors being committed by the communist block and its allies, it preferred to look for its villains in the West especially the US. I guess if you are going to take on governments, its safer to pick those with a strong ideal of due process.
Now, the head of Amnesty International unit for Women’s Rights, Gita Sahgal, has been suspended by the group, for opposing the alliance of the group with a top Taliban supporter in the UK Moazzam Begg. Begg is the leader of the “jihadi” group, Cageprisoners based on supporting the Guantanamo prisoners, of whom he was a member until 2005 after being picked up in Pakistan in the wake of the Afghan invasion.
Ms. Sahgal states that only accepted her job at AI after insisting to Widney Brown, senior director of International Law and Policy at Amnesty, that she be allowed to address their alliance with Begg and his group. It would be difficult for any serious supporter of women’s rights to accept an alliance with such a misogynistic group as the Taliban or their supporters.
Treatment of women in Islamic countries varies from place to place, however the Taliban regime were deplorable and probably one of the worst.
From The Wall St Journal:
“I told her, ‘If you don’t give me the power to clean up this Begg situation, I won’t take on the gender affairs assignment. Widney encouraged me to write a memo on it and even came past my office late one night while I was writing to discuss it. There was no internal resistance against this. So I was promoted with full support. Then, when the Sunday Times story broke, everything I uncovered was deemed ‘innuendo.'”
For Ms. Sahgal, her case is not simply a minor lapse in judgment. She thinks the problem is systemic. “This is a very peculiarly ideological approach to human rights, which misses the point.”
It is interesting to observe that the only real support she is receiving at present seems to be coming from human rights advocates on the right such as Bob Brockley, who opposes the anti semites and Stalinists of the UK, and conservative columnist Mona Charen.
The left over recent years have increasingly allied themselves with radical Islam, possibly because as collectivists they share a hatred of such Western values as liberty, individualism, free market capitalism. They are also swayed by the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” after all anyone who burns George Bush in effigy must, in their opinion, share their values.