It is not just Jihadi John that has been unmasked, as Mohammed Emwazi, but the views of CAGE staff members in promoting a radicalised form of islam that promotes defensive Jihad as a way of settling grievances across the world.
Above is Asim Qureshi of CAGE speaking at an extremist Hizb ut-Tahrir rally. Asked if adultery deserved death penalty if all sharia conditions were met the answer is “I am no theologian” rather than never acceptable. That came up in Andrew Neil’s interview, a must watch here as he holds claims by CAGE to account as having no evidence.
Qureshi’s views on adultery under sharia are expanded in the next video. Interviewed with Moazzam Begg by Assange, they mention and promote the caliphate as something for muslims to aspire to as a political entity, bringing the Umma together. That sharia punishments such as stoning or amputation, if under due process, would be acceptable:
The irony that CAGE promote young people being engaged in civil society and being able to channel their energies into the democratic process, but then support those same young people forming an extremist identity that may set some down a fundamentalist path. Mohammed Emwazi was described as a “beautiful boy” by Qureshi, though before contacting CAGE he may have been trying to join al-Shabaab. CAGE’s links with extremists groups in the UK are more to do with providing legal cover for extremists, not challenging extremism in this country.
The security forces were on to Emwazi as an extremist threat. Far from creating a monster, as CAGE implied by them stopping him traveling abroad, the failure was to allow him to eventually leave undetected. The bloody notoriety as Jihadi John with set pieces to camera in Syria are not revenge on a country that never accepted him. Rather, this was a troubled man that turned his back on civil society, and pursued a fundamentalist path. He never accepted a society that let his family stay here, supported them through the welfare system, and gave him a higher education. He turned his back on us, not the other way round.
When asked to condemn the violence of ISIS, CAGE cannot fail to include the Iraq intervention, to name Bush and Blair as war criminals too. That the majority of civilian deaths have been caused by sectarian violence and terrorism is lost in a narrative that everything is the West’s fault. The man that sets the bomb to go off in a market place is not the focus, anymore than the man pointing a blade to camera.
Even condemning via Twitter ISIS destroying Assyrian artefacts is responded with the accusation of my being a colonialist. When destroying the past is killing the dead a second time by wiping the memory of them, and their remaining voice to us. It is the genocide of history.
Criticising CAGE similarly is met with cries of Islamophobia, rather than concern that staff have spoken at Hizb ut-Tahrir rally calling for Jihad, or questioning whether Begg has renounced extremism. Begg was very recently arrested on suspicion of abetting terrorism though the prosecution was dropped at the last minute.
Gita Sahgal raised concerns when criticising Amnesty International giving Begg a platform in 2010.
I believe the campaign fundamentally damages Amnesty International’s integrity and, more importantly, constitutes a threat to human rights. 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.
Sahgal was sacked from her job for speaking out, and a torrent of abuse was hurled at her for pointing out the problem with Amnesty trying to explain why they were promoting Begg as a human rights advocate:
Most western human rights and civil liberties organizations have watched the unfolding crisis in a frozen and complicit silence. They say nothing because they too have committed similar errors of judgement, supporting proponents of radical Islam rather than simply defending their rights. Too often in Britain, entirely legitimate concerns about racism and the marginalization of Muslims are allied to the promotion of groups associated with the Jamaat I Islami and Muslim Brotherhood.
How CAGE responded in their press conference (above video) over their contact with Mohammed Emwazi has opened more eyes to what should have been obvious back in 2010. While acting as a human rights organisation, CAGE staff members have been supporting a version of islam that is extreme and at odds with the one that most citizens of the UK would recognise as their faith.
We must support organisations that truly try to empower minority voices in civil society, rather than giving support to extremism. Funding for CAGE is being withdrawn now by some big charities, as the fallout from the press conference continues. The Rowntree Foundation has stopped funding having given over a quarter of a million pounds.
Naturally CAGE spin this as a neocon conspiracy given the charity commissioner used to work for the Henry Jackson Society. However, CAGE are not a registered charity – the extreme political islamist sympathies they have do call into question charities funding them. Other muslim charities which do not have those sympathies are available.
Not everyone is going to willingly admit they were wrong to give their support to CAGE. If we care about closing Guantanamo, ending the killing and oppression of islamist supporters in Egypt, ensuring efficient due process for suspected terrorists, we can do so without giving support to people who hold extreme views themselves.
It is imperative, if we uphold universal human rights for all, that we do not end up supporting those that ultimately are against them. We must also stand for the rights of those victimised by fundamentalists – among them women, artists, secularists, muslims, and human rights activists.
This was Gita Sahgal’s point all along, and finally more people are listening.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog