Osama Saeed Bhutta has joined Amnesty International as communications director, after leaving Al Jazeera earlier this year.
Here are some of his qualifications to become a major official at a human rights NGO:
Bhutta supports the idea of a restored caliphate across the Muslim world, claiming that it would be completely compatible with human rights.
There is no point in comparing the political form a caliphate might take to those in centuries past. Institutions such as the British monarchy or the papacy have existed for centuries, but bear little resemblance today to what's gone before. A restored caliphate is entirely compatible with democratically accountable institutions.So, does Osama Saeed support the idea that Jews and Christians pay a poll tax if they live in Muslim countries? After all, that is Sharia law, is it not>?
But what about the issue of sharia? Opposing it is apparently also one of the western world's .... Terms such as "sharia" and "caliphate" have important meanings to Muslims quite different from the distorted connotations they often carry in the west. The aim of Islamic law, contrary to popular belief, is not punishment by death or amputation of body parts. It is to create a peaceful and just society, with Islamic scholars over centuries citing its core aims: the freedom to practise religion; protection of life; safeguarding intellect; maintaining lineage and individual rights. This could be the basis for an Islamic bill of rights.
Does he support equal rights for gays? Does he think they should be hanged? Or somewhere in between?
Let's be clear. The much-lauded Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam signed in 1990 did not call for freedom of religion, equal rights for women, equal rights for gays, freedom to leave Islam, freedom of expression (it explicitly says there is no right to disparage Islamic prophets,) and so forth. It is fundamentally opposed to everything Amnesty pretends to stand for.
In another article, Saeed writes "Mr Blair has attacked the idea of the caliphate - the equivalent of criticising the Pope." Really? A Muslim 'umma with a billion people under a theocratic rule is similar to the Pope today?
Saeed also wrote this in 2006:
Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki was originally hounded in the US becuase two of the 9/11 bombers happened to pray at his mosque. Many of my Muslim readers will either know him personally or have heard his lectures. He preached nothing but peace, and I pray he will be able to do so again.Alwaki, by 2006, had claimed that the FBI or Mossad was behind 9/11, and he told his followers to never cooperate with law enforcement in reporting Muslims who support terror attacks. And Alwaki was already known to have had far closer ties to the 9/11 hijackers than just having them as members of his mosque. Oh, and this person who "preached nothing but peace" also had expressed support for suicide bombers killing Jews.
So Amnesty is hiring someone who calls Hamas suicide bombings "martyrdom operations," who is almost certainly against equal rights for gays, who supports Muslim supremacism within a new caliphate run by sharia law, and who openly supported someone who was known to have undeniable terror ties.
Wouldn't it be nice if some reporter would actually ask Amnesty's new communications director very specifically if, when there is a contradiction between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Sharia law, which he would support?
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