Monday, February 26, 2007

Whose Human Rights?

The problem with the current approach by the Human Rights industry is that when one persons best interest is designated a 'right' it automatically trumps the conflicting interests of everybody else. Take the objection by Amnesty UK to the imminent deportation of Abu Qatada, frequently described as Al Qaida's spritual leader in Europe, to Jordan. Amnesty* are complaining that Jordan practices torture and cannot be trusted to keep their agreement not to torture Qatada, who has been convicted of terrorism offences in the country.

This is a reasonable enough point on the face of it, however one important aspect which Amnesty gloss over is that Qatada was given refugee status in the UK, he returned the favour by denouncing the West and giving inflammatory sermons praising martyrdom, his sermons are known to have been listened to by several known terrorists. So what Amnesty are demanding is that we must provide sanctuary to people who are our sworn enemies and that they have absolutely no obligations in return. In short they are putting his right not to be tortured above everybody else's right not to have to provide a safe haven to someone who seeks to endanger their lives, what Amnesty are demanding is that we sign a suicide pact.

* Not that Amnesty genuinely disapprove of torture, at least not all torture.

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