HRW Sez: Don't Teach Terrorists Tolerance

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Maybe it's just me, but it seems as if Human Rights Watch keeps losing sight of the bigger picture. I'm not a reflexive critic of the group -- I think its reporting out of the Middle East (including Israel) has been important and useful; its recent critique of Hamas seemed credible, though a bit tepid (and it was accompanied by virtually no publicity, but I suppose that's not entirely HRW's fault -- human rights violations against Jews aren't as interesting to the world as human rights violations committed by Jews). This time, though, the group is criticizing Saudi Arabia -- where it recently boasted about its problems with Israel in order to butter up Arab donors -- for teaching detained terror suspects that Al Qaeda's militant ideology is un-Islamic. HRW objects to this program, saying that "human rights law does not permit the detention of persons to undergo a reeducation program."

Yes, we wouldn't want mass murderers to be convinced that mass murder is wrong, would we?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/08/hrw-sez-dont-teach-terrorists-tolerance/23048/