Case One: An Islamic terrorist is kept at taxpayers’ expense in Britain, and protected by European judges from deportation to his homeland Jordan, where he has been convicted for terrorist crimes, on the grounds that Jordan uses torture. And even when the Jordanian authorities give assurances that the monster won’t be tortured, the judges still won’t let him go, just in case the evidence against him in a Jordanian court may be elicited by torture.
Case Two: In Spain, a genuine refugee who has committed no crime under Spanish law but only exercised his right of free speech by criticizing Islam, is to be returned to Pakistan where he will face the death penalty for apostasy.
Abu Qatada, top al-Qaeda terrorist in Europe, lives in Britain at the expense of the taxpayer. Free rent, free education for his children, free health care, social security income – and the cost of his police surveillance alone comes to £100,000 ($150,000) per week.
The Examiner reports:
The man who was designated by the British media as England’s own “terror cleric,” Abu Qatada is now complaining, via his son, that the taxpayer subsidized London home is “small and filthy” …
The hate preacher’s son, Qatada Qatada, complained not only of the cramped and unsanitary digs they aren’t paying for, but also of:
“Racist pressure groups in Britain [who] hold demonstrations outside the house”… and would “scream and curse at us and at Islam.”
It’s good to hear that at least some of the British public are intolerant of the intolerable.
The rent-free Qatada home has been picketed by British citizens who question the government’s wisdom as to the insistence that taxpayer money is used to house, feed and care for the terrorist and his family.
The British government has been attempting to deport Abu Qatada back to his native Jordan since 2001, but has been continually stymied by both British courts and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) located in Strasbourg, France.
The upholding of human rights has largely replaced justice as the raison d’être of law courts in Europe.
Qatada was found guilty in absentia by the Jordanian government on terrorism charges and was subsequently sentenced to life in prison at hard labor.
However, a British Special Immigration Appeals Commission agreed with the earlier ECHR ruling that if sent back to Jordan, Qatada’s human rights would be in jeopardy.
The following are key events in the years-long saga as the British people have attempted to rid themselves of the Jihadist terrorist.
September 16 1993 – The Jordanian father of five claims asylum when he arrives in Britain on a forged passport.
June 1994 – He is allowed to stay in Britain. [!]
March 1995 – Qatada issues a ‘fatwa’ justifying the killing of converts from Islam, their wives and children in Algeria.
May 1998 – He applies for indefinite leave to remain in Britain.
April 1999 – He is convicted in his absence on terror charges in Jordan and sentenced to life imprisonment.
October 1999 – The radical cleric speaks in London advocating the killing of Jews and praising attacks on Americans.
February 2001 – He is arrested by anti-terror police over involvement in a plot to bomb Strasbourg Christmas market. Officers find him in possession of £170,000 in cash, including £805 in an envelope marked ‘For the mujahedin in Chechnya’.
December 2001 – Qatada becomes one of Britain’s most wanted men after going on the run from his home in Acton, West London.
October 2002 – He is arrested by police in a council house in south London and detained in Belmarsh high-security jail.
March 2005 – He is freed on conditional bail and placed on a control order.
August 2005 – The preacher is arrested under immigration rules as the Government seeks to deport him to Jordan.
April 2008 – The Court of Appeal rules that deporting him would breach his human rights because evidence used against him in Jordan may have been obtained through torture.
Evidence against him may have been obtained through torture! Unlikely that he really is a terrorist? Are all British judges milquetoast? What happened to the roast beef of Olde England?
May 2008 – Qatada is granted bail by the immigration tribunal but told he must stay inside for 22 hours a day.
June 2008 – He is released from Long Lartin jail in Worcestershire and moves in to a four bedroomed £800,000 home in West London.
November 2008 – He is rearrested after the Home Office tells an immigration hearing of fears he plans to abscond.
December 2008 – Qatada’s bail is revoked by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) after hearing secret evidence that the risk of him absconding has increased.
February 18 2009 – In a landmark judgment, five Law Lords unanimously back the Government’s policy of removing terror suspects from Britain on the basis of assurances from foreign governments. It is ruled he can be deported to Jordan to face terror charges.
Ah, some roastbeef judges after all!
But not in the European Court of Human Rights. Get ready to be exasperated.
February 19 2009 – Qatada is awarded £2,500 compensation by the European Court of Human Rights after the judges rule that his detention without trial in the UK under anti-terrorism powers breached his human rights.
January 2012 – European judges rule the firebrand cleric can be sent back to Jordan with diplomatic assurances but he cannot be deported while ‘there remains a real risk that evidence obtained by torture will be used against him’.
February 6 2012 – SIAC rules he can be released on bail, despite posing a risk to national security.
February 9 2012 – David Cameron and King Abdullah of Jordan agree on the ‘importance of finding an effective resolution’ to his case, Downing Street says.
February 13 2012 – It emerges Qatada has been released on bail from Long Lartin prison.
April 17 2012 – The cleric is arrested as the Government prepares to deport him to Jordan.
April 18 2012 – Abu Qatada lodges an appeal – potentially delaying his deportation by months.
Since his illegal entry into the United Kingdom in 1993, Abu Qatada has been a multi-million Pound Sterling burden to the British people.
In Spain an ex-Muslim refugee offends not his host nation but Islam, so the Spanish Government wants to deport him to Pakistan where he will face the death penalty.
This report is from Cobourg Atheist, by John Draper:
Imran Firasat is from Pakistan but risked his life and left Islam – he is no longer a Muslim. To escape death, he moved to Spain where he runs a web site. Further, he is on a campaign to criticise Islam – he started with some cartoons …, created a web site which is in both Spanish and English and promoted the controversial movie Innocence of Muslims. The web site also lists 10 reasons why Muhammad was a false prophet … He co-produced a 70min movie The Innocent Prophet that described why he thought Islam to be wrong – why people would be crazy to believe what is in the Qur’an. But he is not a Spanish citizen – he was admitted into Spain as a refugee. So when he announced his plans to release the movie,he was told he could lose his status and be deported back to Pakistan where he would face a certain death penalty for openly leaving and criticizing Islam under Pakistan’s blasphemy Law. He therefore withdrew his name from the movie …
You can find the movie here:
More of the story comes from Islam Watch, by M.A.Kahn:
Under pressure, Firasat withdrew from the movie, but his U.S. collaborator, controversial Pastor Terry Jones, who already had a copy, took Firasat’s name out of the movie and released it from the U.S. on the scheduled date.
Despite Imran Firasat’s best effort to distance himself from the movie by completely taking out his name, the Spanish authority decided to revoke his refugee status, serving him with a letter to the effect within days after the movie was released.
Mr. Firasat has been baffled by the manner his refugee status was revoked, because it usually takes 6 months to process the cancellation of refugee status.
He has been told by the Interior Ministry that he is a threat to Spain’s national security. He was inciting violence against Spain both at home and against Spanish diplomatic missions and interests abroad. …
Imran Firasat, who feels open examination of Islam is necessary for liberty and democracy to survive in the West amidst its burgeoning Muslim populations, says, he wants to criticize Islam, but without instigating violence among Muslims to avoid vandalism, destructions and deaths.
And his movie, despite being on Youtube for over two weeks and watched by tens of thousands of people, there hasn’t been any controversy, criticism or violence, whatsoever. Even then, the decision of the Spanish government to serve Imran Firasat with deportation papers clearly shows how much fear have Muslims stricken into the hearts of Western nations. This is nothing but Muslims’ perfect enactment of Allah’s divine commandment for striking terror into the heart of the unbelievers …
Imran Firasat, who has been struggling with financial difficulties, especially after making this movie – which not only ate up all of savings but he also had to take a loan – has one month to defend himself in Court, failing which he may be put on a plane to Pakistan. …
So is shortage of funds the reason why he isn’t appealing to the European Court of Human Rights where – just maybe – his case will be looked at with the same consideration applied in the case of Abu Qatada? If so, why aren’t Spanish taxpayers bearing that cost, as British taxpayers bore the cost of Abu Qatada’s appeal?
The solution to such puzzles is to be found in this new unwritten principle of European and American political philosophy: If you offend Muslims you are guilty; if Muslims offend you, you are guilty.
Last thought: “Mr. Firasat has been baffled by the manner his refugee status was revoked, because it usually takes 6 months to process the cancellation of refugee status.” Why do we suspect that Obama and Hillary Clinton – who are persecuting the maker of the video Innocence of Muslims, pretending it caused the murderous attack by Muslim terrorists on the US mission in Benghazi – have a couple of bloodstained hands in the perpetration of this injustice?
This is a story of injustice in the name of compassion. It is one of thousands with the same plot and message. It is the European story of the age – along with the tale of the collapsing welfare states.
The following article by Philip Johnston, and the picture of Abu Qatada, are from the Telegraph:
Three years ago this week, a British man, Edwin Dyer, was kidnapped by nomads in north-west Africa, where he was working, and handed over to al-Qaeda militants based in Mali. They threatened to kill him if the British government refused to release the radical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada from prison, where he was awaiting deportation.
A few months later, Mr Dyer was murdered … We cannot be sure that releasing Qatada would have spared Mr Dyer, since the extremists were also demanding a ransom. In any case, it is the British government’s long-stated policy not to deal with terrorists.
But the question that arose then, and still applies, is this: why was Abu Qatada even in the country to be included in a potential bargain with extremists? Since he was identified as Osama bin Laden’s “ambassador in Europe” after the 9/11 attacks on America, British authorities have been trying to deport him to his native Jordan.
Yet for more than 10 years, every effort to do so has been thwarted by human rights laws. In 2009, it looked as though he would be sent packing when the highest court in the land ruled that his deportation would be lawful, the government having gone to considerable efforts to extract a guarantee from Jordan that Qatada would not be ill‑treated if he was returned. But he appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, whose judges yesterday said that in their opinion he could still face an unfair trial, since evidence against him might have been extracted under torture. He could not, therefore, be removed.
In doing this, the European Court moved the legal goalposts: it accepted that he would not be tortured personally – which would prevent his deportation under Article 3 of the convention – but ruled instead that his removal would be a breach of Article 6, the right to a fair trial. At every turn, Britain has found itself hamstrung trying to get rid of a foreign national considered to be a risk to public safety. How has this come about?
Principally, it is to do with the warped application of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), which was drawn up after the Second World War as a response to the atrocities in Europe. The Abu Qatada saga is an affront to the enlightened attitudes that inspired the convention; it was never envisaged by its architects, many of them British, that it would end up making it impossible for democracies to defend themselves from those who would wish them harm.
We’ve always thought the “human rights” idea was a bad one. It arose out of the fairly common human need among a lot of nice people to feel good. But it is a sentimental idea, and sentimentality is the enemy of reason and commonsense. Furthermore, European politicians drew the wrong lesson from the Holocaust, so the Jews, who were its victims, are not the beneficiaries of Europe’s shame – Muslim Jew-haters like Abu Qatada are.
This story began in 1993 when Abu Qatada, a Palestinian wanted for terrorist crimes in Jordan, arrived in Britain on a forged United Arab Emirates passport.
Of course he should have been refused entry. But sentimentality won the day.
He was allowed to settle in Britain as a political refugee precisely because this country has a record of offering sanctuary to the persecuted. This generosity also turned London in the 1990s into a haven for Islamists who had no love for the West, nor for what they regarded as its decadent politics.
By the time the threat was catastrophically apparent in 2001, the capital was derisively being referred to as “Londonistan”, with Abu Qatada as fundamentalist-in-chief. According to security documents, he was responsible for “facilitating the recruitment of young Muslims for jihad”. One file stated: “He has been linked to support of terrorist and extremist activity, including support for anti-US terrorist planning in Jordan during the millennium [celebrations]. He has been a focal point for extremist fund-raising, recruitment and propaganda.”
Another added: “As soon as Abu Qatada had arrived in London and had applied for asylum, he started supporting jihad by recruiting for al-Qaeda. Abu Qatada was considered a major figure for al-Qaeda.”
He went on the run after 9/11 but was arrested in 2002 and held in Belmarsh top-security prison, along with other Islamists the Government wanted to remove but who could not be tried in this country, not least because the security service feared jeopardising its intelligence sources. In any case, Britain did not want to try them but to get rid of them.
There then began an extraordinary legal and political battle that has tied our courts in knots and undermined the rights of Parliament to decide who should be allowed to stay in the country.
Qatada’s detention was ruled unlawful on the grounds that since his deportation was blocked under Article 3 of the ECHR, he faced indefinite incarceration. He was even awarded £2,500 compensation for unlawful imprisonment.
In response, the last Labour government introduced a system of control orders to keep Qatada and other Islamists under house arrest. However, this was ruled unlawful by the courts here; it amounted to imprisonment without trial, so the restrictions had to be loosened.
Undaunted, the Home Office tried another tack. Officials opened talks with Jordan to obtain assurances that he would not be tortured if sent back. When these were forthcoming, the Law Lords in 2009 agreed his deportation should proceed.
Yet, three years on, that judgment has now been overturned by the European Court. The Government has three months to appeal but the chances of success are fanciful. In the meantime, Qatada will remain in jail.
And here is the most bizarre aspect of this affair. The reason he is in prison is because he breached the conditions of his control order. His offence was that he was suspected of trying to leave the country – the very thing we have wanted him to do for 10 years.
So sentimentality brought its ever more ludicrous consequences.
This, then, is the topsy-turvy world that the ECHR has produced – and the latest ruling goes much further than before, when the ban on deportation was effected under Article 3, where someone might face “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. …
The judgments of our courts are trumped by a 47-member body set up under the Council of Europe (not the EU), whose president, Sir Nicolas Bratza, is a British lawyer who has never held a senior judge’s job in this country. …
What began as an attempt to limit the power of the state in relationship to the individual by drawing upon British concepts of liberty has been transformed into a corpus of immutable rights that defy rational expectation. Even the 1951 Refugee Convention, under which Qatada was allowed into Britain in the first place, specifically states that asylum “cannot be claimed by a refugee whom there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the security of the country in which he is”.
To add insult to injury, Philip Johnston points out, al-Qatada and his large family live on benefits paid for by the British tax-payer. Free house, free education, free medical treatment, and loads of cash in hand.
So this Muslim terrorist parasite will live not too unhappily ever after. Or at least until the British welfare state finally collapses.
Amnesty International has been a vile organization for decades, despite the nobility of the cause for which it was ostensibly founded: to come to the aid of political prisoners regardless of their politics. Such an aim should have made it a champion of free speech. But in fact it has proved to be a champion of cruel, collectivist, tyrannical regimes. While readily speaking up for terrorists justly imprisoned by free countries, it has raised barely an audible murmur for brave prisoners who’ve stood for freedom in communist and Islamic hells. It’s record of false accusations against Israel and excuses for Hamas, for instance, is a sorry story all on its own.
It is fair to say that far from being for humanitarianism and justice, it is nothing better than a communist front organization. If everyone who works for it doesn’t know that, they should inform themselves better.
Mona Charen tries to set the record straight in a recent article. She writes:
Amnesty International has been a handmaiden of the left for as long as I can remember. Founded in 1961 to support prisoners of conscience, it has managed since then to ignore the most brutal regimes and to aim its fire at the West and particularly at the United States. This week, Amnesty has come in for some (much overdue) criticism — but not nearly so much as it deserves.
During the Cold War, AI joined leftist international groups like the World Council of Churches to denounce America’s policy in Central America. Yet human rights in Cuba were described this way in a 1976 report: “the persistence of fear, real or imaginary, was primarily responsible for the early excesses in the treatment of political prisoners.” Those priests, human rights advocates, and homosexuals in Castro’s prisons were suffering from imaginary evils. And the “excesses” were early — not a continuing feature of the regime.
In 2005, William Schulz, the head of AI’s American division, described the U.S. as a “leading purveyor and practitioner” of torture … Schulz’s comments were echoed by AI’s Secretary General, Irene Khan, who denounced Guantanamo Bay as “the gulag of our times.”
When officials from Amnesty International demonstrated last month in front of Number 10 Downing Street demanding the closure of Guantanamo, Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo detainee who runs a group called Cageprisoners, joined them. Begg is a British citizen who, by his own admission, was trained in at least three al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan, was “armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and al-Qaida against the United States and others,” and served as a “communications link” between radical Muslims living in Great Britain and those abroad.
As for Cageprisoners, well, let’s just say it isn’t choosy about those it represents. Supposedly dedicated to helping those unjustly “held as part of the War on Terror,” it has lavished unmitigated sympathy on the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, confessed mastermind of 9/11; Abu Hamza, the one-handed cleric convicted of 11 charges including soliciting murder; and Abu Qatada, described as Osama bin Laden’s “European ambassador.” Another favorite was Anwar Al-Awlaki, the spiritual guide to Nidal Hasan (the mass murderer at Fort Hood) and underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Anne Fitzgerald, AI’s policy director, explained that the human rights group allied with Begg because he was a “compelling speaker” on detention and acknowledged that AI had paid his expenses for joint appearances. Asked by the Times of London if she regarded him as a human rights advocate, she said, “It’s something you’d have to speak to him about. I don’t have the information to answer that.” One might think that would be a pretty basic thing about which to have information.
This level of collaboration didn’t go down well with everyone at Amnesty. Gita Sahgal, the head of Amnesty’s gender unit, went public with her dismay after internal protests were ignored. “I believe the campaign (with Begg’s organization, Cageprisoners) fundamentally damages Amnesty International’s integrity and, more importantly, constitutes a threat to human rights,” she wrote to her superiors. “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. … Amnesty has created the impression that Begg is not only a victim of human rights violations but a defender of human rights.”
For this, Miss Sahgal was suspended.
There have been a couple of voices raised on her behalf on the left. Christopher Hitchens (if we can still locate him on the left) condemned Amnesty for its “disgraceful” treatment of a whistle-blower and suggested that AI’s 2 million subscribers withhold funding until AI severs its ties with Begg and reinstates Sahgal. Salman Rushdie went further: “Amnesty International has done its reputation incalculable damage by allying itself with Moazzam Begg and his group Cageprisoners, and holding them up as human rights advocates. It looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy, and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong.”
Rushdie is right. His only error is in believing that Amnesty’s loss of innocence is recent.
We would urge AI’s 2 million subscribers to withhold funding permanently.