Even before Moazzam Begg was arrested, CagePrisoners was rather obviously a pro-jihad group, not just supporting al-Awlaki but hosting talks by him. And just last summer they featured as a speaker the imam Shakeel Begg, who has said that it was “inspiring to be amongst some of our brothers who made hijra in the path of Allah, who made jihad in the path of Allah, who suffered in the path of Allah, our brothers from Guantanamo Bay. May Allah have mercy upon them, may Allah accept all their good deeds and all their fasting especially in the month of Ramadan, and may Allah grant them jannah [Paradise].” It’s a sign of how far gone Britain really is that an outfit like CagePrisoners would be the darling of the trendy Left, and be showered with donations from Leftists who despise their own nation and heritage, while foes of jihad terror are demonized, marginalized, and banned from the country.
“Mainstream charities have donated thousands to Islamic group fronted by terror suspect,” by David Barrett and Robert Mendick for the Telegraph, March 1 (thanks to Twostellas):
A controversial Islamic rights group fronted by a man charged with attending a terror training camp in Syria is being bankrolled by two mainstream British charities, including a foundation set up in the name of Dame Anita Roddick.
CagePrisoners, an organisation founded by Moazzam Begg – who has just appeared in court on terror charges – has been given £120,000 by the Anita Roddick Foundation, which distributes part of the former Body Shop owner’s £100 million fortune.
A second charity, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Quaker-run fund set up by the chocolate-maker and philanthropist a century ago, has also paid CagePrisoners £305,000 over six years.
Last week, Begg, 45, who became director of CagePrisoners after his release from Guantanamo Bay in 2005, was one of four suspects picked up in Birmingham over alleged links to terrorism in Syria.
On Saturday he appeared before Westminster magistrates’ court charged with providing terrorism training and instruction over a six month period, and of being involved with funding terrorism as recently as August last year. Begg denied all charges.
He was one of dozens of British Muslims to be arrested and stopped in the last year over security chiefs’ fears that the conflict in Syria may lead to terror attacks in the UK.
CagePrisoners, which has recently changed its name to Cage and rebranded its website, is funded by a range of institutional and private donors. It has organised a demonstration outside the headquarters of West Midlands police calling for an end to the “harassment and intimidation of communities under anti-terrorism legislation”.
The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust said it was monitoring the situation.
A spokesman said before Begg’s arrest that there would have to be a further development for the charity to “review” the funding after an ongoing £135,000 grant in 2011.
“Each grant is assessed on its merits,” he said, adding: “We continue to monitor the situation closely. As you know, the £305,000 is the total of three grants that we have made to Cage since 2007.”
The Roddick Foundation is run by Anita Roddick’s husband, Gordon and their children. According to its website it says it gives money to those who want to ‘change the world.’ Anita Roddick died of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 64 in 2007.
Roddick wanted her vast wealth to fund campaigns on green issues, human rights and Third World debt.
She described leaving money to family as “obscene” and replaced her two daughters Sam and Justine as principal beneficiaries of her will in 2005 soon after making a fortune from the sale of The Body Shop.
French cosmetics firm L’Oreal paid £625 million for the company, paying Dame Anita and her husband Gordon more than £100 million for their 18 per cent share in the business.
Her half of the profit from the ecofriendly, ethical business which she and her husband built up from one shop was donated to the Roddick Foundation, which supports charity causes she espoused.
Last week, the Roddick Foundation failed to respond to requests for a comment.
CagePrisoners, which has received four grants from the Roddick Foundation in as many years, has attracted growing controversy.
Lord Carlile QC, the Government’s former independent reviewer of anti-terrorism legislation, said: “I would never advise anybody to give money to CagePrisoners. I have concerns about the group.
“There are civil liberty organisations which I do give money to but CagePrisoners is most certainly not one of them.”
Robin Simcox, a research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank, said: “I cannot understand why human rights groups are aligned with CagePrisoners.
“The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation should be treating this group with great caution.”
CagePrisoners insists it is a legitimate human rights organisation but its actions have repeatedly courted controversy.
In 2011 the group published an article about a mock execution of President Barack Obama, later saying the piece was “not promoting the killing of Obama”.
The controversial organisation, which campaigns for those it considers to be the victims of the war on terror, once supported the US-born radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.
The Islamic preacher, once based in Yemen, was invited to address a CagePrisoners’ fundraising dinners via video link in 2009. After his detention in Yemen, CagePrisoners campaigned for his release from prison.
In 2010 the human rights organisation clashed with a senior figure at Amnesty International UK, Gita Sahgal, who at the time was the head of Amnesty’s gender unit, and who accused CagePrisoners of being a “jihadi” organisation.
But CagePrisoners retaliated by making clear that it is a human rights organisation that “exists solely to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror”.
It argued that CagePrisoners only campaigned for the release of Awlaki when he was detained without charge in Yemen.
After his death in 2011 in a US drone strike, CagePrisoners published a report in which Begg said there was no evidence to support the American Government claims that Awlaki was an al-Qaeda terrorist….