UK: Amnesty International claims defensive jihad 'not antithetical to Human Rights'

Human Rights for All

Response from Amnesty international to the global petition and a Response from the petitioners: In a letter in response to the Global Petition to Amnesty International, the Secretary General of Amnesty International makes a shocking and incredible claim that "Defensive Jihad not antithetical to Human Rights". If this is the official position of the world’s leading human rights organisation, this would gravely undermine the future of the human rights movment.

The rationale and call for ‘defensive jihad’ runs through many muslim fundamentalist texts. It is precisely ‘defensive jihad’ that the Taleban use to legitimise its anti human rights actions such as the beheading of dissidents, attacks on minorities, attacks on schools and religious shrines and the public lashing of women. A similar logic based on ‘defence of religion’ is used by the Christian right to justify the killing of doctors providing abortion services as well as by Hindutva fundamentalists to justify their violent attacks against Muslims and Christians in India.

We are revealing and making public (see attached documents) the full text of the letter received from secretary General of Amnesty international in response to the ’Global Petition to Amnesty International: Restoring the Integrity of Human Rights’ and also the Response sent by Initiators of Global Petition

The highlights of the response sent to Amnesty International by Initiators of Global Petition are:

  • Endorsement of the concept of ‘defensive jihad’ by an organization such as Amnesty International calls into question its commitment to research the ideological underpinnings of acts of terrorism and its commitment to the eradication of discrimination on the basis of sex/gender and religion.
  • In the present climate, within the mainstream human rights world, a serious challenge is being posed to the principles of universality and equality by a host of concessions to ‘traditional values’ and ‘cultural rights’.
  • Amnesty International should make public the following information - Investigative research which informs decisions on partnerships and alliances:
    • What process of investigation was carried out to determine whether Moazzam Begg was a suitable partner for Amnesty International?
  • Allow real internal debate and give individuals within Amnesty International including at the level of National Sections, the right to act according to their conscience and to exercise their freedom to dissent.

Released to the world media by Human Rights For All Campaign.

Response to Amnesty International from the Initators of the Global Petition
Full Text original in PDF Date: 29 March 2010
Letter from Claudio Cordone, Secretary General of Amnesty International
Full Text original in PDF Date: 28 February 2010
(Located at: