"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Blissfully Ignorant Of Islamic Fundamentalism

"While the Western Right sometimes advocates international crimes and bigotry in response to Muslim fundamentalist violence, the Western (and global) Left often refuses to recognize the relity of that violence and the actual danger posed by its underlying ideology. Both of these positions have drastic consequences on the ground for the people......
I must admit, however, that I am more shocked by the failings of the Left and the human rights movement because I am in their camp. For example, my former employer Amnesty International, which has done so much good on many human rights issues, suspended and then forced out the head of its Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, after she publicly criticized the organization for cozying up to a jihadi sympathizer and former Guantanamo detainee, a British Muslim named Moazzam Begg, and his pro-jihadi organization CagePrisoners. While Begg had clearly suffered at the hands of U.S. authorities, and deserved defense while detained without trial, he himself had a nasty track record of support for the Taliban, of running an extremist bookshop in the United Kingdom, and of numerous visits to jihadi training camps. Yet he was lauded as a human rights defender, brought in to judge a children’s poetry competition, depicted on Amnesty’s website reading his own poetry about “tyrants,” and repeatedly given a platform by the organization. When Gita Sahgal went public with her concerns, several of South Asia’s leading women’s rights defenders wrote an open letter to Amnesty that garnered two thousand signatures, including those of such prominent women’s rights defenders as the leading Pakistani human rights lawyer Hina Jilani, and pioneering Egyptian feminist writer Nawal El Sadaawi. In response, the acting secretary-general of Amnesty would write a letter claiming that advocacy of “jihad in self-defense” is not “antithetical to human rights," thereby actually endorsing a myth that has been used to justify fundamentalist atrocities from Iraq to Afghanistan to Algeria. Gita Sahgal was absolutely right to speak out, and she paid a high price for doing so." (Karima Bennoune. Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here)

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