The Prime Minister came down hard on the group as he laid out plans to stamp out ISIS, but CAGE has defended itself today and said it is seeking legal advice on whether Mr Cameron is “guilty of defamation”.
Speaking in Birmingham yesterday, Mr Cameron said: “I want to say something to the National Union of Students.
“When you choose to ally yourselves with an organisation like CAGE, which called Jihadi John a ‘beautiful young man’ and told people to ‘support the jihad’ in Iraq and Afghanistan it really does, in my opinion, shame your organisation and your noble history of campaigning for justice.”
When west Londoner Mohammed Emwazi was ousted as the ISIS executioner nicknamed Jihadi John, CAGE’s research director, Asim Qureshi, said he was a “beautiful young man”when they had known him before.
In a video in 2006 Mr Qureshi called to “support the jihad of our brothers and sisters” in the Middle East at a protest outside the US Embassy.
But today CAGE said it has “never supported terrorism in any way” and maintained it works to “stand against torture and against the violation of human rights” by using the rule of law to end the “war on terror”.
As well as potentially launching legal action against the Prime Minister, CAGE also announced today it has applied for a judicial review against UK charity watchdog, the Charity Commission.
CAGE says the commission “exceeded its role as government regulator” by pressuring donors to stop funding it and claims the Charity Commission “spread false information based on misleading reports in certain sections of the media”.
It said the commission “demonised” CAGE because Jihadi John approached it for advice before he left to fight for ISIS in Syria.
The organisation is not stopping there on the warpath against the establishment – it has also complained to the United Nations (UN) about “sustained attacks on its ability to do its advocacy work”, which it says involves campaigning for the rights “of those adversely affected by the war on terror”.
Tonight, Dr Adnan Siddiqui, director of CAGE, said: “The concerted efforts to demonise CAGE are counter-productive and fits into a broader counter-terrorism strategy that is founded on a combative, securitised approach that will increase the chance of politically motivated violence, rather than counter it.”
He said CAGE is “taking steps to challenge this strategy” and warned “maligning” the organisation will damage efforts made by others in British society who are searching for solutions “to issues that affect all of society”.
Dr Siddiqui added: “We are not the problem, even though our call for dialogue and conciliation may not be welcome by the Government.
“We are looking to all fair minded people to join us in preventing alienation, division and fear with a view to preserving the basic freedoms that have been the fruits of the struggles of previous generations.”
The Prime Minister’s office said it would not be commenting on the allegations.