Age Islam Edit Bureau
13 June 2017
Qatar-Gulf Rift Stems From Fear
By Rami G Khouri
History and War: Sit, Type And Bleed
By Ramzy Baroud
and the Axis of Extremism
By Hussein Shobokshi
Is Involved In Tehran Bombings?
By Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
Qatar Crisis: Who Started It?
By Turki Aldakhil
Washington in Qatar’s Investigations
By Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Position on Gulf Crisis
By Yasar Yakis
Difference between Qataris and the ‘Qatarised’
By Mamdouh Almuhaini
By New Age Islam Edit Bureau
Rami G Khouri
12 June 2017
At the core of the week-old decision by
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to strangulate their smaller
neighbour Qatar with a medieval-style siege is a single critical question: what
fears and demons drove the Saudi and Emirati leaders to take these drastic
measures to bludgeon Qatar into changing its foreign and media policies and
submitting itself totally to their demands?
How can we explain this harsh response that
strikes me, and many observers in the world, as exaggerated to the point of
being hysterical? It is important to grasp exactly why Saudi-Emirati leaders
implemented this strangulation siege of Qatar, so that we can address the
issues, including any legitimate complaints, that have been raised in the many
accusations against Qatar, while leaving others in the realm of just
My own discussions with colleagues across
the Gulf and the Arab World suggest that the ferocity of the Saudi-Emirati
assault on Qatar stems from both new factors and lingering ones from years ago.
Two seem critical: first, the recent
dominant decision-making roles of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in
the Emirates and of Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammad bin
Salman Al Saud in Saudi Arabia, who are moving decisively to safeguard what
they see as their national security and well-being; and, second, the
accumulated fears that Islamists across the region continue to gain strength
among the public since the Arab uprisings of 2010-11, and thus represent a
genuine, existential, and immediate threat to these ruling families and their
visions of their countries and the wider Gulf order.
Got Caught In The Middle Of This.
Its misfortune is that its long-standing
policies in several domains converged with, and heightened, these new fears
among the young leaders in the UAE and Saudi Arabia who were determined to take
matters into their own hands and protect their world as they thought
appropriate. These Qatari policies include sponsoring open regional media via
Al Jazeera and other platforms that found massive audiences across the Arab
world; close economic ties with Iran that included exploiting a joint natural
gas field (mirroring similarly close trading ties with Iran in Oman, Kuwait and
Dubai, among others in the GCC); and, a web of contacts with, and some support
for, assorted Islamist movements across the region and the world, including
Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others - which the Emirati-Saudi indictment
labels, "promoting terrorism".
For the Emiratis and Saudis, virtually
every element of Qatar's foreign policy represents frightening visions of what
they fear most - a regional order in which media openly discuss political
issues that really matter to Arab citizens, working links with Islamists and
other political groups that challenge prevailing Arab orders, close ties with
Iran, and an independent streak that prompted Qatar to stray from the regional
vision of the GCC that Saudi Arabia has tried to enforce for many decades.
Islamists that won democratic elections and
assumed or shared power in Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait and Yemen
genuinely frightened the Saudi-Emirati combine. These GCC leaders saw Islamism,
populist activism, democracy, civil liberties, political accountability and
other such phenomena as a real threat to their legitimacy, to their values, and
to the national and regional orders that they sought to preserve in their
political state of top-heavy, patriarchal, welfare-state governance.
This was bad enough on its own; but it was
exacerbated by three other factors: the Arab uprisings that showed the weakness
of many Arab regimes, the sight of the United States and European powers
dropping their support for former President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt (which they
did not want to happen to them), and the successful negotiations Western and
global powers held with an apparently strong and regionally well-linked Iran.
Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia had reason to
fear Islamists. They had intermittent and serious problems with homegrown
Islamists and terrorists, but none that threatened the stability of the political
governance system or the ruling families. The UAE, in particular, has routinely
jailed and convicted dozens of its citizens linked to the Islah and other
Islamist movements for plotting to overthrow the government and establish a
The UAE-Saudi leadership seem to have
decided to make Qatar a scapegoat for their real fears, despite the paucity of
credible evidence linking Qatar to schemes to destabilise its GCC neighbours.
They pressured Qatar three years ago on these issues, with only a milder
recalling of ambassadors, but the reconciliation agreement did not
significantly change Qatar's policies, or their own perceptions of what they
saw as troublemaking and threatening leaders in Doha.
In early June this year, with the new
American president visiting the region, the Saudis and Emiratis portrayed Qatar
as representing all the negative trends of the past decade that threaten the
stability and economic role of the GCC states. The apparent support of the
American president gave the new, young leaders in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh the
confidence to strike hard, in order to preserve their regional order by
bringing Qatar to its knees.
These moves were neither unexpected nor
unprecedented, for the Saudis and Emiratis had both heightened and hardened
their regional policies to counter Iran and beat back Arab Islamists and
democratic breakthroughs for the past few years. These included using military
force in Libya, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, supporting Field
Marshal-turned-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt and labelling the Muslim
Brotherhood, Hezbollah and others as terrorist organisations.
How this confrontation ends will become
more clear in the weeks ahead. Mediation to find a political solution is moving
quickly on several fronts; it could gain momentum as backers of Qatar,
including Iran, Oman, and Turkey in the region, blunt the impacts of the siege
by providing new supply routes for basic commodities.
The combination of American and Kuwaiti
mediation should generate compromises that include new Qatari measures to
address some of the reasonable complaints against it (like clamping down harder
on donors to militant Islamists and toning down some of the very pro-Islamist
media personalities); this should also allow the Saudis and Emiratis to relax
and learn that their harsh measures cannot reverse the fact that Qatar's
talk-to-everybody policies are appreciated by probably a majority of governments,
while the US and Turkey also value their close strategic links with Qatar
through their bases there.
A win-win peaceful resolution would allow
Qatar to maintain its sovereignty and broad policy orientation with only a few
non-critical and reasonable concessions, while allowing the Saudis and Emiratis
to feel that their no-nonsense tough-guy policies had an impact and sent a
message to the region and the world that they would stand their ground and take
action to maintain the political status quo in their neighbourhood, regardless
of how the region or the world was changing.
History and War: Sit, Type and Bleed
The typical newsroom setup, where
journalists chase after headlines dictated by a centralized news-gathering
agency — often based in a Western capital — no longer suffices. In the case of
the Middle East, the news narrative has been defined by others and dictated to
Arab journalists and audiences for far too long. This hardly worked in the past
but during the last few years, it has become even more irrelevant and
There are millions of victims throughout
the region, numerous bereaved families, constant streams of refugees and a
human toll that cannot be understood or expressed through typical media
narration: A gripping headline, a couple of quotes and a paragraph or two of
The price is too high for this kind of lazy
journalism. There is too much at stake for the profession not to be
fundamentally redefined by those who are experiencing war, understand the
region’s pulse, fathom the culture and speak the language. Arabs have indeed
spoken, and for years their words were filled with anger and hope. The haunting
cries of Syrians and other Arab nations will define the memories of this
generation and the next.
How much is journalism today a reflection
of this harrowing, blood-soaked reality? American author and journalist Ernest
Hemingway once wrote: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a
typewriter and bleed.” But modern journalism — at least the way it is
communicated in the Middle East currently — hardly bleeds.
Under the guise of false objectivity, it
remains detached from its immediate reality and is rarely expressive of the
seriousness of this difficult transition in our history. But the truth is,
journalism has not failed. We did. We are still unable to appreciate the
gravity of what has befallen our region and by extension the world.
As for the people, if we do not neglect
them altogether, we turn their misery into fodder in our political feuds.
Equally inexcusable, we pay little attention to history, as if the most
significant component of our story is the least relevant. Orientalism still
defines the way history is written in and about the Middle East. We should
reject that, not only as a matter of principle but also because it is
impractical and false.
This Orientalist depiction has afflicted
journalism. Why do we allow others to define who we are, when we are in the
most urgent need to define ourselves? Writing on Palestine for nearly 25 years,
I have experienced this strange and persistent dichotomy in both journalism and
academia. Palestine is reported as a recurring, seemingly never-ending
“conflict,” coverage of which always adheres to the same rules, language and
An urgent issue that requires immediate
resolution, not least because of its regional and global impact, is relegated
as if a redundant, uninteresting story. Many people tend to have short-term
memories when Palestinian rights are in question. This feeds well into the
Israeli narrative, which has aimed to displace Palestinian history altogether
and replace it with a false one.
Although files on the 1948 ethnic cleansing
of Palestinians are still hidden in Israeli archives, one document, according
to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, has escaped the censor’s keen eye: File
GL-18/17028, which shows how the country’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
resorted to Zionist historians in the early 1950s to forge an alternate story
of how Palestinian refugees were expelled. He chose the most convincing one,
and that became “history.”
This rewriting of history is ongoing and
has tainted the present. How can journalists, then, unearth the seemingly
complex truth without understanding history — not the version conveniently
fashioned by Israel, but the history of the pain, suffering and ongoing
struggle of the Palestinians?
To report on Palestine and Israel without
fully fathoming the historical roots of this tragic story is to merely be
content with providing a superficial account of what “both sides” are saying,
which often favors Israel and demonizes the Palestinians. The Palestine
scenario is now repeated everywhere. The narratives on Syria and other
conflicts are guided by preconceived wisdom.
Journalism is still failing to break the
stronghold of the old paradigm that relegates the people and focuses instead on
rulers, politicians, governments and business elites. This is the media version
of what is known in academia as the “Great Man Theory,” a defunct discipline
that is sadly used abundantly in the Arab press. But without the people there
is no history, no story to be written and no change to be expected.
Arundhati Roy is quoted as saying: “There’s
really no such thing as the ‘voiceless.’ There are only the deliberately
silenced, or the preferably unheard.” Palestinians and Arabs already have a
voice, an articulate one but it has been deliberately muted by a massive
campaign of misinformation, distortion and misrepresentation.
When Israel and its allies say
“Palestinians are not a people,” they essentially claim Palestinians have no
identity or legitimate demands, and so deserve no voice. When the media silences
the voice of the people, it relegates their rights, demands for freedom, change
Our answer should not be speaking on behalf
of the people but to actually listen to them and empower their voices so they
articulate their own aspirations and rightful demands, and express their own
identity. Journalism is not a technical profession, or a skill to be honed
without compassion and a deep understanding of the past and present.
True intellectuals cannot operate outside
the realm of history, and the Arab world is undergoing its greatest historical
flux in a century. For journalists to be relevant, they must stop dictating the
news in the same predictable pattern, and delve deeper into the story.
They need to understand that a narrative is
lacking, if not irrelevant, if it does not begin and end with the people, whose
story is not a sound bite but rooted in a complex reality in which history
should take centre stage.
To be a journalist reporting on the Arab
upheavals and to not fully fathom the region’s history and its peoples’ hopes
and aspirations is no longer excusable. When entire nations are bleeding,
journalists need to heed Hemingway’s advice: “Sit down at a typewriter and
and the Axis Of Extremism
The Arab world is being “reconfigured” and
today it is destined to be located between two main axes: the axis of stability
and the desired centrality and the axis of extremism and sedition, which
supports fundamentalist groups at the expense of state entities.
This is perhaps the simplest explanation
and the interpretation of what is happening between Qatar on one hand and Saudi
Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on the other. The division between
the two groups is a reflection of the policies of the two axes.
Qatar has chosen to support extremist
groups, moving away from the track. Qatar also chose the same “Iranian route”
to support the extremist groups and did not choose the “national” option that
unites and does not differentiate.
Qatar has the will to govern by proxy and
wants to be the maker of kings and presidents, a state that believes that its
soft power, as well as money and information broadcasting can “change” the
reality on the ground under the slogans of “revolution” and “religion.”
It focused its attention on revolution, the
Arab Spring and the religion of “revolutionary.” It even augmented the issue of
the mosque renovation project of Muhammad Bin Abdul Wahab and named the largest
mosque after his name. Qatar desired to claim one of the most important tribes
of the Arabian Peninsula in order to disturb Saudi Arabia (an old complexity)
and produced documentaries, making a big drama out of it to strengthen its
A few years ago, when I attended a
conference in Doha, a Qatari researcher was explaining to me the methods of
Qatar’s use of soft power and its expected impact in the Arab world. The man
said that Qatar has its vision since the day of the coup from the son against
his father which affected not only Qatar but also the Gulf region as well.
Qatar wants to influence “every house” and
has therefore expanded its largest television station Al Jazeera into a network
with several outlets, including BeIn that is involved in broadcasting all types
of sports. Soon it plans to enter into the movies and drama segment. It
believes in the ability of the media to influence and thus change the formation
of collective opinion, thus able to influence them easily.
Qatar’s another great ambition is to have
one of the largest and most influential banks in the Arab world. Their National
Bank of Qatar is in expansion mode with capital infusion and acquisitions.
In addition, it is also determined in the
growth of its national airline Qatar Airways aiming to be the top airline in
the region. Saudi Arabia gave it the license to operate in the Saudi domestic
market but it soon realized the risk and did not encourage Qatar Airways to
operate in the domestic market.
It has tried to be the region’s most
accessible education hub in the region, opening to a group of international
universities and thus serving as an influential platform for young people and
nurturing ideas for controversial decision-making centers in Doha such as Rand,
Brookings, Saban Center for Middle East Policy and other institutions.
Let us understand that Qatar is a
suspicious state. It mixes politics with religion and the economy and all its
actions are politicized to serve its agenda, which came into existence after
In the past there was warning to Qatar from
the former UAE ruler, Sheikh Zayed, for its actions and it also invited the
wrath from former King Abdullah. The same anger is expressed by King Salman at
Qatar today and the same message is conveyed by Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and
Libya for various reasons.
Qatar has always been an offender, let us
not forget it!
Dr. Khaled M. Batarfi
June 13, 2017
“FIRST of all, I offer my deepest
condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims. We, in Saudi Arabia,
are acutely aware of the pain and suffering caused by terrorism which has
targeted us so many times in the past three decades,” I told the Hurra host,
I went on to explain my suspicions: “At the
same time, I was amazed at the speed with which TV cameras arrived at the
scenes. It was like they were there already! And the speed by which “Daesh”
(the so-called IS) issued a statement claiming responsibility. As well as the
lightning speed with which the Revolutionary Guard found Saudi Arabia and the
United States guilty before any investigation had even begun, and before
different government departments agreeing on one story.
“What is remarkable here is that the
attacks took place in two locations under tight security by all standards. The
parliament is surrounded by high-profile military, security and political
headquarters, including the Revolutionary Guards, the Ground Forces Command,
the Army Command, Tehran Military Air Base and the Office of Imam Khamenei. All
the above required heavy presence of intelligence, military and police forces —
unlike the easy civilians targets Daesh usually picks.
“Entry into the district as a whole is
subject to strict security measures. The parliament itself is accessed only by
those who work there, or visitors with security cards, and through gates and
offices that check identities and personalities. There are security cameras, as
well as, uniformed and undercover elements in every corridor and corner.
“However, armed suicidal groups were able
to enter these areas in broad daylight and clash with the security forces and
shoot innocent visitors (not the officials or parliamentarians who are supposed
to be targeted), and some members blew themselves up in the corridors of
parliament (not inside) and near a bank next to the Khomeini shrine (not the
“Iranian political activists and dissidents
questioned the events and timing. I totally agree. The majority of the Iranian
people have recently voted for those who promised to reconcile with the world
and focus on local issues. The voters have declared their desire to withdraw
from the marshes of wars and conflicts in the region, and not to waste national
resources and fortunes on military adventures and to bring home their beloved
children from distant killing zones. The people have rejected the
justifications of foreign interventionists that the goal was to transfer the
war to the territory of the adversary and to protect internal security by
defeating terrorism on its ground.
“At the same time, there have been
persistent questions about why terrorist organizations in Iraq and Afghanistan
are not targeting nearby Iran for decades, while reaching out as far as America
and the Philippines.
“The timing also raises many questions.
These bombings came as the world has united against terrorism (with the
exclusion of Iran for sponsoring terrorist organizations), and considering that
Daesh and Al-Qaeda grew and expanded in countries under Iranian influence—Iraq,
Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
“The attacks seem to be a timely response
to international criticism for Tehran hosting of Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders
and their families and providing them with logistics to facilitate the movement
and the access to areas of conflict. This includes bigger operations such as
the bombings of US embassies in Africa and 9/11 attacks — as US intelligence
and court findings proved. Tehran events were also timed after Riyadh Summits
that focused on combating terrorism.
“The objective of the “fake” bombings,
Iranian observers explain, is to confront terror sponsorship charges, and to
convince the Iranian street that the best way to defend the homeland is to
attack the enemies first.
They also aim to justify the decades-old
belt tightening, that put half the population under poverty line, crippled the
economy, caused neighbors’ enmity and international boycott. There was no more
appropriate time than when the new government was formed and its domestic and
foreign policies were being shaped.” I concluded my remarks.
May Allah has mercy on the victims of the
terrorist operations in Tehran, Amsterdam and everywhere else, help their
families and loved ones, and punish every person, militia, organization and
country involved. The world would be a safer place without them! Free Iran!
When it comes to the ongoing Qatar crisis,
some would say: We agree on the negative roles Qatar has played since Hamad bin
Khalifa’s coup in 1995 but since you have been patient for 22 years, what made
you wake up angry today on this particular day?
First of all, patience for mistakes does
not mean one must remain patient forever. Second of all, what some people have
forgotten is that Saudi Arabia’s three kings in recent years have all voiced
anger over several Qatari policies.
In 1990 during the Gulf summit held in Doha
to discuss Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, King Fahd protested then-Qatari heir
apparent Hamad bin Khalifa’s insistence to discuss the Qatari-Bahraini border
dispute before addressing the Kuwaiti crisis. King Fahd left the meeting hall
and tensions dominated the summit.
He later told those around him that Hamad
bin Khalifa will play a decisive role in the future and this is what happened,
beginning with the coup he staged against his father and until today.
Qatar adopted al-Qaeda’s rhetoric and used
Al-Jazeera as its platform to attack Saudi Arabia. It adopted a media rhetoric
that attacked Saudi Arabia because it had an American base but this ended when
the American base relocated to Qatar.
Qatar then supported the Brotherhood and
revolution supporters – unlike support of the Syrian opposition – bought them
houses and funded them and hosted anyone who spoke out against Saudi Arabia and
Even Kuwait was not spared as Doha
supported the opposition, pushed people to protest and hosted anyone who
confronted governance in Kuwait. This is unlike what happened with Bahrain, the
UAE, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, and the list goes on.
King Abdullah was thus angered by this
behavior and withdrew envoys. Later on, there was the 2014 agreement but Qatar
did not implement anything from it. As usual, it tried to use Saudi affairs to
serve its own interests and decided that King Abdullah’s death repeals the 2014
agreement. As if Saudi kings walk the path of Qatari coups!
A major part of the dispute between the
four countries – Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, and
Qatar – is based on accusations that the latter supports hostile organizations
and individuals, including terrorist ones. The four countries issued a list of
names of those accused and they include Qatari institutions and associations
involved in terrorist operations. Qatari officials responded by denying these
They said: “Do not believe them because the
list is politicized and reflects disagreements among us as countries.” However,
Qatar’s problem is that most of those on the list are also on terror lists
issued by official American institutions, including the Treasury. Therefore,
declaring the lists is a dangerous development as Doha’s disagreements are not
limited to disputes with its Arab rivals, whom it has gotten used to defy, but
have now internationally expanded.
All those on the list are somehow linked to
Qatar. What it should do is hand over the accused ones in Qatar to the four
countries. Since there is a political dispute between it and the UAE, Saudi
Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain and says it does not trust them, then it should
consider another which is the US, and it must involve it in the investigations.
I think America’s participation is a solution that can ease the current
However, instead of discussing the names
and details, Qatar harshly responded via an official source at the ministry of
foreign affairs and said the list was defamation and an attempt to distort the
country’s image. The source said: “The four countries have assigned themselves
as an alternative to international legitimacy and set a field court to try
In order for the truth not to be lost amid
the four countries’ claims and Qatar’s denial, the Qataris can just end the
problem by involving the Americans considering they are Doha’s friends and have
information about the lists.
The affair concerns the entire
international community and it does not only concern the Saudis, Egyptians,
Emiratis and Bahrainis. Therefore, it is an opportunity to cooperate and be
transparent. All countries must lay out their cards on the table and accept
cooperation instead of exchanging accusations.
And just like we’re asking Qatar to
cooperate, we call on Saudi Arabia to accept this. All the countries involved
in the dispute must accept this and accept an investigation and try those who
are listed. The problem of Doha’s authorities is that those who are listed,
including Saudi, Kuwaiti and other accused figures, are linked to it.
There are Qataris listed on international
and American lists and Qatar refuses to try them. This strengthens suspicions.
What’s worse is that most of them are still active in Syria, Libya, Egypt, Iraq
and other conflict zones where terrorist groups operate.
The same applies to institutions and
associations which pretend to be charity organizations. Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
Bahrain and the UAE have made these institutions’ names public. The Qatari
source at the ministry of foreign affairs responded to these accusations by
saying: “The list included the names of charity organizations that have a long
history in humanitarian work. Some of them have a consultative status at the
So why doesn’t Qatar silence its rivals and
allow the international investigation into these institutions or shut them down
especially that some of them are listed by the US and accused of sponsoring
terrorism? Our brothers in Qatar, it’s for your own sake and interest that we
are advising you: End this as the game is over.
Qatar has been friendly to terrorist groups
since the mid 1990s. At the beginning there were videos and propaganda of
al-Qaeda organization in Afghanistan. Then Qatar’s activity expanded to areas
where there are revolutions and it funded armed groups like al-Nusra Front and
This is the end of the road. The war on
terrorism is the world’s first cause today. The international community will
pursue any country that provides any support to these groups. It will not be
long before Doha finds itself between the claws of countries that are bigger
than Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.
Arab Gulf states accused Qatar of
supporting armed groups and their regional rivals, and on June 4 imposed heavy
sanctions, including closing land and sea borders, canceling flights to and
from Qatar, and withdrawing their ambassadors from Doha.
The US, which is a security provider and
main actor in Qatar, gave mixed signals. President Donald Trump posted a tweet
that may be considered the trigger of the crisis, writing: “During my recent
trip to the Middle East (on May 21) I stated that there can no longer be
funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar.”
But Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis on June 6
praised Qatar for its “enduring commitment to regional security” and for
hosting US forces. The largest US air base in the Middle East is in Qatar, and
10,000 military personnel are stationed there.
While the Pentagon insists that the
blockade has no effect on the US fight against Daesh, Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson said it is hindering US military action in the region and the
campaign against Daesh. He urged Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to ease
the blockade, saying it has caused unintended consequences.
“Qatar has a history of supporting groups
across a wide political spectrum, including those that engage in violence,” he
added. “The emir of Qatar had made progress in halting financial support for
terrorism but he must do more and he must do it more quickly.”
About an hour after Tillerson’s press
conference, Trump clarified the US approach by saying: “The nation of Qatar,
unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism and at a very high
level.” Now that the president has reconfirmed his position, neither the State
Department nor the Pentagon are expected to deviate from it.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain point out
that this is not the first time their policies diverge from that of Qatar. In
March 2014, when Qatar supported then-Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi and his
Muslim Brotherhood movement, these three countries withdrew their ambassadors
They resumed their posts eight months later
when some Brotherhood members were forced by Qatar to leave the country and
some others were quieted. It remains to be seen how long it will take this
time, since Qatar is blockaded by sea and land and is being asked to fulfil
Ankara cooperated with Doha in Syria by
supporting similar opposition factions, though not always the same ones. In
addition, unlike Qatar, Turkey does not support Hezbollah, and when a Hamas
office operating in Istanbul had to quit Turkey as part of the latter’s
reconciliation with Israel, the Turkish press reported that the office moved to
Turkey has close economic ties with Qatar,
and the latter’s investments in the former amount to about $18 billion. Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the initiative to defuse inter-Gulf
tensions. He had telephone conversations with many leaders, including those of
Qatar, Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and France.
On June 7, Turkey’s Parliament fast-tracked
a bill to deploy 500 troops to Qatar, in addition to 150 who have been there
since 2015. Turkey is constructing a base in Qatar that will accommodate 10,000
troops when completed.
A second fast-tracked bill provides for
Turkish training of the Qatari gendarmerie. Turkish opposition parties
criticized these moves, saying they send a wrong message to the international
community and should be postponed until the situation stabilizes.
Turkey maintains good relations with most
Gulf countries, but this crisis has to be regarded as an intra-Arab affair.
Non-Gulf countries, more specifically non-Arab countries, should not interfere
Though Erdogan takes many of his
initiatives in his capacity as the sessional chairman of the Organization of
Islamic Cooperation (OIC), his interlocutors will be listening to him as
Turkey’s president. So Ankara should take the utmost care not to take sides in
this sensitive controversy.
Arab countries, with their customary
prudence and wisdom, will find ways to sort out the problem sooner or later.
When they do they will be reconciled, but the bias of non-Arab countries will
not be forgotten.
The message behind boycotting Qatar was clear.
Qatari people are brothers to us and represent an authentic extension to the
Gulf region. The main problem is with the hostile practices and the support of
terrorist organizations that threaten not only the Gulf but also large regions
extending from the Gulf to Egypt, Libya and others.
However, there are those who seek to
distort the truth and indulge in misleading interpretations. They turn the
boycott into a siege that seeks starvation of Qataris; some have even said that
Qatar will be swamped first and other countries will follow.
The misleading attempts and lies of these
persons and platforms, seeking to create a gap between the Gulf and Arab
people, are expected. To set things straight, there is a big difference between
the Qatari neighbour, brother and relative, and the “Qatarised” people trying
to act or speak like Qataris but have nothing to do with the Qatari people.
Such people are the cause of all these crises.
What Do We Mean By Qatarised Persons?
Readers might think that we mean someone
who recently got Qatari nationality. This is not true at all. Moving from one
place to another and acquiring citizenship enriches, diversifies and adds to
cultures. The obvious condition for this is that these persons would constitute
an addition and affluence to their new country. This is what Gulf and Arab
countries have done, as we have seen thinkers, politicians, clerics, players
and artists moving and acquiring new nationalities, revitalizing and injecting
new spirit into these new countries.
Qatar is no exception. Among the important
figures is the former Mufti of Qatar, Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, who came
from the desert of Najd, where he was known for his wide knowledge and
enlightened views, such as his rejection of the idea of the Mahdi and his
expected return and considered it as a mere illusion and deceit.
However, due to the Qatari policies in the
last 2 decades, this positive phenomenon has disappeared and we are witnessing
what is known as the “Qatarised” persons. Subversive characters that not only
harm their new country but the neighbouring countries as well.
The most prominent example of the
Qatarizing phenomenon is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who was inciting sedition,
allowed politicized speeches that aim to ignite chaos in Arab countries, most
notably in Egypt that suffered from his hostile activities and toxic ideas.
Can a Qatari person who wants to live in
peace and brotherhood within his country do such practices that target the
security of his brothers’ countries in the Gulf? Of course not. Can it be done
by Qatarised persons? Of course, and we have witnessed several such examples.
We have for example a “revolutionized”
Saudi academic who renounced his nationality and got Qatarised. He did not stop
attacking and provoking against Saudi Arabia. The same thing happened with lot
of Egyptians. They live extravagantly in hotels in Doha and at the same time,
they launch violent media campaigns to overthrow the Egyptian government and
disperse Egyptian people.
If we want to understand the “Qatarised”
persons more clearly, we only have to know the names of the 59 terrorists who
figure in the statement issued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.
They are persons who have nothing to do
with Qatari people (even if some of them are originally Qataris); they are not
patriots but rather mere names that master the art of propagating violence,
terrorism and beheading culture. They have one sole goal: to destroy countries
and pave the way for extremist organizations to spread, control and expand
their political influence in Doha.
and Media Platforms
Such people are not only limited to persons
as they include intellectual institutions and media platforms, which constitute
a matching discourse with the same hostile aims. Some of them want to mislead
us, referring to the modern form of universities in Doha and the bright
academic names and think tanks, but all of them are serving the same project
that was set by the political leadership and expressed through secret deals and
The “Qatarizing” phenomenon attracts all
individuals, groups and ideas that target many countries but exclude Qatar, the
“oasis of democracy”, from their extremist ideology adopted by terrorists or
A general subversive mood combines a
terrorist from Kuwait and an intellectual from Palestine. Even if some of them
were not quite sure about this, there won’t be any problem because they have
one goal, even if the means are different.
This phenomenon did not emerge by chance:
the Qatari political leadership created and promoted it with money and media
campaigns in many languages, through many sites and platforms hidden under
various slogans that promote terrorism, chaos and bloodshed.
This is why the four countries, which have
long been patient, have finally taken the necessary steps to exterminate this
phenomenon once and for all. By doing so, they make a great favor to Qatari
citizens first, even if “Qatarized” cheaters tried to offer cheap propaganda.