Quaker silences

The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, in its own words:

“…is a Quaker trust which seeks to transform the world by supporting people who address the root causes of conflict and injustice. This support is provided, primarily, through funding applied for by applicants.”

As Stand for Peace points out:

“Despite these high-minded aspirations, however, the JRCT funds a number of extremist organisations.”

One such organization is Cage.

Stand for Peace describes it as follows:

“CAGE (formerly CagePrisoners) is a terrorist support group run by confessed terrorist Moazzam Begg, “Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban,” who once admitted to visiting terrorist training camps on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he was responsible for “small arms and mountain tactics” training. Begg has recently been charged with terrorism offences following his return from a visit to Syria.

CAGE has promoted the conspiracy theory that “9/11 could be insurance fraud” planned by “Zionist billionaires.””

Harry’s Place has been running some interesting material about the Rowntree – Cage – Begg situation.

For example, here they quote the Trust’s statement about their support for Cage:

“27 February 2015 As a Quaker trust, we reject and condemn all violence, including all violence for political ends. We believe that building sustainable security requires patient, long-term work to address the underlying causes of conflict and injustice.

Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust has previously funded Cage to promote and protect human rights. We believe that they have played an important role in highlighting the ongoing abuses at Guantanamo Bay and at many other sites around the world, including many instances of torture.

The Trust does not necessarily agree with every action or statement of any group that we have funded. We believe that Cage is asking legitimate questions about security service contact with those who have gone on to commit high-profile and horrific acts of violence, but this does not in any way absolve any such individual from responsibility for such criminal acts.”

And then, Harry’s Place critiques it. Including this:

The first paragraph is essentially throat clearing – it would be peculiar if they thought or said anything different. The second paragraph, on the other hand, reads like the prelude to a ‘but’. The fact they say it ‘has played’ not ‘plays’ an important part in highlighting abuses hints at a break.

But the reference to not being in full agreement with all groups they fund, by contrast, suggests a more defensive position, as does the first half of the final sentence. Yet the last point, of course, implies a criticism of Cage’s widely condemned attempt to blame the security services for Mohammed Emwazi’s murderous brutality.

Whatever message it is trying to convey, the JRCT must have been confronted with ample evidence of the very many reasons not to support Cage, since it started to fund the ‘human rights organisation’ several years ago.

There’s more by Harry’s Place on Begg’s extremism and nutty world here.

The latest (here) at Harry’s Place quotes the Jewish Chronicle report:

“Concerns about the campaign group linked to Islamic State terrorist Mohammed Emwazi were raised with a prominent charity by the Community Security Trust two years ago.

CST alerted the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) to antisemitic material on the website of Cage in July 2013.

JRCT was a leading funder of Cage’s work at the time, giving the group more than £300,000.

The Jewish group warned JRCT about Cage’s attitude to antisemitism, links to Abu Qatada, and articles on the Cage website which claimed the September 11 attacks in New York were an insurance scam organised by a Zionist billionaire.”

The effect of the CST’s approach?

“The trust’s initial response to CST accused the Jewish security group of “unfairly associating Cageprisoners with extreme antisemitism” and said a number of offensive articles on Cage’s website had been removed.

JRCT said that it was “proud to support Cageprisoners” in its “important work”.

CST responded by telling JRCT secretary Nick Parks that his trust was paying “for the promotion of a one-dimensional victimhood narrative that fuels resentment, anger and alienation amongst young British Muslims.

“JRCT’s money pays for Cageprisoners to depict men like Abu Qatada and Anwar al-Awlaki as tragic semi-heroic victims, with human rights concerns being the seductive hook for hanging the victimhood narrative upon.”

There was no further response from JRCT to the concerns raised by CST.”

So, in summary, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust financially supports an extremist organization like CAGE (and probably more of the same), and doesn’t seem to care.

What is it about certain do-gooders who cannot see the bad they are doing?