Guardian’s favorite Jihadist: Former al-Qaeda member Moazzem Begg published for 18th time at CiF

I’d truly like to understand the moral logic which guides those who believe that a man who associated with the most violent, hateful, misogynistic and reactionary movements in the world can be considered a voice for human rights.

Moazzem Begg, former member of Al-Qaida and the Taliban, who attended terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan to “assist in waging jihad against enemies of Islam” has published his 18th essay at CiF, “We demand the truth about British involvement in torture“, Jan 12.

Begg, a  British Pakistani Muslim, was detained by the Pakistani military in 2002 due to evidence linking him with al-Qaeda, was shortly turned over to the U.S., and spent two years in Guantanamo Bay before being released after pressure from British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw – albeit over the strong objections of The Pentagon.

Bryan Whitman, U.S. Defense Dep’t spokesman, said after Begg’s release that there was no question he has strong, long-term ties to terrorism—as a sympathizer, as a recruiter, as a financier and as a combatant.”

Whitman added, quoting an eight-page confession that Begg made while incarcerated, that Begg admitted:

I was armed and prepared to fight alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda against the U.S. and others, and eventually retreated to Tora Bora to flee from U.S. forces when our front lines collapsed…. [I] knowingly provided comfort and assistance to al-Qaeda members by housing their families, helped distribute al-Qaeda propaganda, and received members from terrorist camps knowing that certain trainees could become al-Qaeda operatives and commit acts of terrorism against the United States

After his release, Begg became an advocate for the rights of terror suspects, and, as Director for Cageprisoners, continues to speak around the country, lecturing on imprisonment without trial, torture, and anti-terror legislation, and has been promoted by Amnesty International.

True to form, Begg, in his latest CiF post, lashes out against allegations of extrajudicial detention, and torture, of terror suspects,  by the UK.

Yet, it would take truly exceptional mental tricks not to question the moral authority of a polemicist with proven ties to the Taliban, a group whose brutality and savagery, to both combatants and civilians, is exceptional even by the standards of Islamist terror groups.

Does it at all strike Guardian editors as odd to continually commission essays on the subject of “human rights” by a Jihadist associated with a group which engaged in simply horrendous repression of women and girls,  issued edicts which forbade women from being educated, and publicly beat women for running afoul of the regime’s morality police?

It would be impossible to do justice to the degree and quantity of Taliban atrocities, but, in addition to conducting nothing short of an extermination against the Hazara minority in the 90s, Afghanistan under the Taliban had, by any measure, one of the worst human rights records in the world.  They systematically repressed all sectors of the population, denied even the most basic individual rights, and literally enslaved the female population.  As Christopher Hitchens noted, “the Taliban does not violate human rights, but entirely lacks the concept of their existence.”

Astonishingly, Begg, the “human rights advocate”, wrote, in his autobiography that the Taliban had made “some modest progress—in social justice and upholding pure, old Islamic values forgotten in many Islamic countries.”

In fact, Begg’s support for terror hasn’t waned in recent years.

In an article in the Irish Times, when asked if the actions of the Taliban, and the resulting deaths British soldiers and foreign aid workers, were justified, he answered:

“If you are asking me what are my feelings towards people fighting occupation, the answer is I completely support them. I believe in the inalienable right to defend yourself against foreign occupation.”

In fact, in a recent essay published by Begg, titled ‘Jihad and Terrorism: A War of the Words’, he glorifies violent Jihad, writing:

“The Quran also describes both jihad and qitaal as a transaction for which the ultimate prize is achieved by paying the ultimate price: Indeed Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth in return for Paradise. They fight in the Way of Allah, they kill and are killed.”


“O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a grievous torment? That you believe in Allah and His Messenger and you perform jihad in the way of Allah with your wealth and your lives.”

In the very next paragraph, he writes that Jihad is the duty of every Muslim and condemns those who refuse to do this, as a ‘major sin’.

“According to the consensus of the Islamic schools of thought (mathaahib), jihad (with wealth and in person, in the military sense) becomes an individual obligation, like prayer and fasting, on Muslim men and women when their land is occupied by foreign enemies or when an invasion is imminent.

Moazzem Begg: former member, recruiter, propagandist and combatant for reactionary, murderous terrorist groups, believer that violent Jihad is required of every Muslim, and supporter of attacks against his nation’s own citizens.

And, “human rights” commentator at ‘Comment is Free’.

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