Gita Sahgal Blows the Whistle on Amnesty and CagePrisoners

Here is an astonishing act of bravery by Gita Sahgal from within Amnesty International. We at The Spittoon applaud and support her on this principled act.

Sahgal, a senior official at Amnesty International, has accused AI of legitimising the jihadist Moazzam Begg and his organisation Cage Prisoners. This is a hugely significant intervention which, we hope, will finally point much-needed spotlight on Amnesty’s continued patronisation of this known jihadist group and the activities of its directors.

Sahgal’s accusations are based on a fundamental point of principle, which is this: It is correct for Amnesty to hold human rights positions on fair trial, torture, diplomatic assurances and work against renditions and the closure of Guantanamo Bay. However, these positions should also require us to hold salafi-jihadi groups and other religious absolutists accountable. Human rights abuses of torture, for example, should not be used to justify, legitimise and finally partner with proponents of violent jihad such as Moazzam Begg.

Posted in Human Rights, Islamism | 10 Responses

Mohammad Mosaddeq: Some Myths Dispelled

This is a cross-post of an article by Michael Ezra on Harry’s Place

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Dr. Mohammad Mosaddeq was a popular Iranian politician. An Iranian nationalist, who hailed from a wealthy and prominent family he served as Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 – 1953.[1] According to one of his own cousins, as well as being “Distinguished,” he was “highly emotional.” He would gesture “wildly” in “theatrical” speeches. When he was nervous or in a rage, tears “sprung unbidden from his eyes” that he would wipe away with his hand.[2] His major political achievement was to nationalise the British controlled Anglo-Iranian Oil Company[3] (abrogating an agreement that would have expired in 1993).[4] Mosaddeq’s time as Prime Minister ended abruptly in August 1953 after a CIA sponsored coup that replaced him with a retired army major general, Fazlollah Zahedi.[5]

Myth 1: Mosaddeq was a Democrat.

Posted in History | 5 Responses

Ambassador At Large

Some levity for a Saturday afternoon:

Despite having served for years as a distinguished Pakistani diplomat, Akbar Zeb reportedly cannot receive accreditation as Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia. The reason, apparently, has nothing to do with his credentials, and everything to do with his name — which, in Arabic, translates to “biggest dick”

According to this Arabic-language article in the Arab Times, Pakistan had previously floated Zeb’s name as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, only to have him rejected for the same reason. One can only assume that submitting Zeb’s name to a number of Arabic-speaking countries is some unique form of punishment designed by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry — or the result of a particularly egregious cockup.

The Arabs never offered the Pakistani Foreign Office an explanation for their decision. So the Pakistani FO assumed the US was behind it. Obviously.

Posted in International Affairs | Leave a comment

Mohammed Atif Siddique and ‘racism’

This is a cross-post of an article by Robin Simcox.

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In September 2007, Mohammed Atif Siddique was jailed for eight years for various terror offences. The most serious of these charges – possession of an article for a purpose connected to terrorism – was quashed last week. The appeals judge, Lord Osborne, called the original verdict a ‘miscarriage of justice’, which is inevitably the headline that most of the press ran on. The impression given was that the British state was once again unfairly demonising its Muslim population.

What was missed in most of the reporting was that Lord Osborne was only referring to the main charge as a miscarriage of justice. Siddique’s convictions for providing instruction for the purposes of terrorism, circulating a terrorist publication and breach of the peace still stood. Looking through the court documents, it is clear that Siddique is an unapologetic admirer of al-Qaeda and its ideology. He amassed huge stocks of jihadist material and would regularly discuss his desire to become a suicide bomber. That he could be used as an example of how ‘discriminatory’ the British state is somewhat rankles, to say the least.

Posted in Islamism, Moral relativism | 25 Responses

(Sunni) Islamism’s Hatred of Shia Muslims Surfaces in Pakistan

Horrific scenes in Karachi

Two bombs were detonated within an hour of each other in Karachi, targetting the Shia.

A motorcycle fitted with explosives rammed into a bus carrying Shias near the Nursery bridge in Karachi, killing 12 people and wounding close to 50. The injured were taken to Jinnah Hospital. About an hour later another explosion outside the ward of the Hospital was detonated.

Shia-hatred is a mainstay of hardline Wahhabi-inspired ideology as promulgated by those darlings of the Islam Channel, Yasir Qadhi and Anwar al-Awlaki. Advocates of this line of takfiri thinking maintain the Shia are heterodox therefore lesser Muslims or, worse, not Muslim at all and even just simply kfar (“unbelievers”). They (wrongly) claim the doctrine of takkiyyah or dissimulation is embedded into Shia liturgy, they regard the practice of mutah to be degenerate and claim their texts are heretical.

Posted in Islamism, Sectarianism, Terrorism | 4 Responses

BREAKING NEWS: Awlaki directed attack on Delta airlines

This is a guest post by Shiraz Maher from Standpoint Magazine.

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CBS News is breaking an exclusive story over in the United States. It seems that Anwar al-Awlaki did indeed direct the abortive Christmas day attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Here’s what CBS are reporting:

The suspect in a failed Christmas Day airliner bombing attempt told federal investigators that radical Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki directed him to carry out the attack, CBS News has learned.

[...]

The source said Abdulmutallab told investigators he was guided by al-Awalki to detonate the bomb over U.S. soil, unlike the failed British bomber plot in 2006 when the bombers were instructed to detonate bombs on airliners over the ocean on the way to the U.S. so that there would be no evidence left behind.

Posted in Islamism, Terrorism, Your View | Leave a comment

Abdulmutallab: Anwar al-Awlaki Told Me to Bomb Jet

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab has turned on his mentor, Anwar al-Awlaki:

According to the source, Abdulmutallab told investigators he obtained the powerful explosives PETN and TATP in Yemen and was left on his own to decide when and how to bring down a plane, Milton reports. Abdulmutallab has apparently disclosed to investigators he picked Northwest Flight 253 because of its availability.

The source said Abdulmutallab told investigators he was guided by al-Awalki to detonate the bomb over U.S. soil, unlike the failed British bomber plot in 2006 when the bombers were instructed to detonate bombs on airliners over the ocean on the way to the U.S. so that there would be no evidence left behind.

Al-Awlaki himself said in a recent interview that he and Abdulmutallab had kept in contact. A senior U.S. intelligence official said al-Awlaki represented the biggest name on the list of people Abdulmutallab might have information against. Both spoke on condition anonymity to discuss the sensitive ongoing investigation.

Posted in Feature, Islamism, Terrorism | Leave a comment

“Because she’s got a beard”

The trailer from ‘Four Lions’, Chris Morris’ jihadi satire.

By turns Ealing comedy, tragedy, thriller, buddy movie and satire, Four Lions isn’t well served by the tonal shifts, but is always watchable for the performances of Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay and Adeel Akhtar as the jihadis. Their internecine warfare brings the biggest laughs, and there is much fun to be had from the trademark Morris doggerel; bilious, surreal convoluted outpourings coated in invective that spill out in Urdu (the gang switches between Urdu and English).

While we’re on the subject of Chris Morris, here’s one of his best:

Posted in Farce, Terrorism | Leave a comment

Hi Kids! Remember, Annihilate Those Who Insult Islam

This is a cross-post from Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens

Both on this blog and Harry’s Place, Moazzam Begg’s CagePrisoners (CP) group has featured fairly regularly – especially since one of their favourite ‘Sheikhs’, Anwar al-Awlaki, turned out to be an al-Qaeda supporter.

Although CP claims to campaign for raising ‘awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror’, much of its website is dedicated to individuals convicted of terrorism offences in the UK. These people are not ‘detainees’ who are ‘held’, they are prisoners who are guilty of either trying to kill civilians, or encouraging others to do so.

In the website’s ‘From Behind Bars’ section, there are pages of letters from convicted Islamist terrorists, and in the case of Mohamed Hamid (aka Osama bin London), some stratospherically awful poetry.

Posted in Islamism, Terrorism | Leave a comment

Question Time: A Shower of Hypocrites

Hypocrisy Time

Did anyone manage to sit through Question Time last night without having to fight back an overpowering sense of nausea? I certainly couldn’t and neither, it appears, could Shiraz Socialist:

Clare “See No Evil – so didn’t resign when it would have made a difference” Short, Charlie “I Done No Evil, Guv” Falkner; Melanie “Evil Is (actually) Good” Phillips, George “To Distinguish between Good and Evil would have meant removing my tongue from Saddam’s arse” Galloway and Theresa “What Is Evil?” May…

What a fucking shower they were, each and every one of them, on display tonight. All that’s wrong with present-day British politics.

Right. Probably the most inept and insincere panel on QT ever.

Posted in Media, UK Politics | Leave a comment
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