The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Amnesty International condems the wrong side

In the wake of the London terrorist bombings on July 7, 2005, the United Kingdom has been working to enact new anti-terrorism laws and policies that would allow suspected terrorists to be detained for up to 90 days without being charged and would allow for the deportation of foreigners that “glorify” or incite acts of terrorism, on the grounds that their behavior poses a threat to national security.

It seems Amnesty International objects to this law. According to their press release on October 12, 2005, Amnesty International objects to the law because they feel that it could be used to prosecute those who are not connected in any way to Islamic extremism or terrorism, allowing for the deportation of those suspected of or glorifying terrorism back to their native countries who may abuse or torture them. Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, states her organization’s position:

The UK should take a lead in reasserting, rather than undermining, the values of human dignity.

Respect for human rights is an essential building block for security and effective counter-terrorism measures.

Excuse me? Did I hear her correctly? She believes that the U.K. is undermining the values of human dignity with this new law? The U.K. is among the free and democratic countries of the world, and there are far less free and democratic countries (like Iran) that she can rightfully denounce.

Granted, the law could be abused by targeting innocent people, like “anti-nuclear campaigners,” but the danger for such abuse has always existed for all laws. It is always possible for some rogue L.A.P.D. officer to abuse his badge and beat up an innocent person under the guise of upholding law and order, yet such cases are the exception, not the rule. I have serious doubts about the potential widespread and systematic abuse of this new law.

Amnesty International also object to the U.K.’s plan to deport terrorists and their sympathizers, fearing that these terrorists may face torture in their native countries.

Well, good for those extremists! It is about time that such terror-loving extremists are expelled, and the fact they will be deported to countries with less-than-stellar human rights records is not a problem that the U.K. should concern itself with. Those facing deportation should concern themselves with it. The law should serve as a deterrent to those who support or foment terrorism by making them face deportation back to their countries. If the law deters such individuals, then the law has served its purpose.

Although no one denies that Amnesty International’s cause is good and noble, I feel they have set their priorities on the wrong people.

They seem to be most vocal and outspoken against countries like the U.K. or U.S., yet are silent on terrorist organizations, like al-Qaeda. In fact, throughout their website, they only use the word “al-Qaeda” in the context of criticizing the tactics that countries employ against terrorists.

They also hate using the word “terrorists,” preferring instead, “armed groups” because they feel that there is no “internationally agreed definition of what constitutes ‘terrorism.'” So I guess the terrorists who carried out 9/11, or bombed the London subways are not really terrorists, but just “armed groups” then, right?

Amnesty International needs to wake up to the new reality that we live in and stop deluding themselves in believing that if we just allow terrorists to sit alongside us around a campfire, hold our hands, and sing “Kumbaya” together, they are suddenly going to embrace us with open arms, kiss both of our cheeks, see the “error” of their ways, and call us “brothers” instead of “infidels.”

Amnesty needs to realize that these terrorists do not want to hold our hands and sing together, but want to behead us because we do not subscribe to their perverted views of Islam. Unfortunately, this even includes parts of the Muslim world too, since they do not share the terrorists’ beliefs.

Since we are infidels, we must be annihilated, and they are more than willing to carry out suicide missions in order for their sinister and nefarious world vision to come to fruition.

The only way to defeat an enemy that does not care about their own lives, our lives, and human rights is to use tactics that are, no doubt, ethically questionable, yet necessary to preserve the national security and safety of our societies.

If Amnesty International cannot come to terms with the dangerous and dystopian world we live in, or the threat to civilization that al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations pose, then they are taking the path of the ostrich: putting their heads in the sand and pretending that the lion that has chosen them as his next meal does not exist.

Daniel Wurangian is a junior political science major.

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