I’m not an enormous fan of “giving money to charity”; I prefer to spend my spare cash on holidays, consumer durables and alcohol. But somehow, for the last five years, I’ve been paying a monthly stipend to Amnesty International. I really don’t know how that can have happened. Obviously, it should now stop, seeing that they have suspended the head of the organisation’s gender section, Gita Saghal, for having the temerity to suggest Amnesty was being “damaged” by being nice about the Taliban all the time. My friend Martin Bright has blogged
about this, and you can sign up to one of those ludicrous and self-important Facebook campaigns to have her reinstated here
Gita’s also a member of the organization of Women Against Fundamentalism and is of the opinion that cozying up to pro-Taliban fundies like Moazzam Begg might not accord with what you might expect to be the broader aims of the organization.
So where is the charity which supports freedom of speech and human rights unconditionally, rather than when it suits them to do so? I used to bung Index on Censorship a few quid until the Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh was murdered by a deranged Muslim savage and some bigwig in the organization said, effectively, that he got what was coming to him because he was a “free speech fundamentalist”.
I suppose I could go back to spending the money on myself. Otherwise, suggestions gratefully received………….