Ongoing Dispute Has Roots in Qatar’s Long-Standing Practices
(New York) – The ongoing diplomatic and economic standoff between Qatar and its neighbors has roots in that country’s long-standing support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other extremist groups, symbolized by the hosting and supporting of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader and propagandist, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) said today.
Known for his fiery, caustic, and violence-encouraging sermons and militant fatwas (religious decrees), Qaradawi has been permitted access to millions of viewers across the region and free rein to promote his radical agenda through the Qatari-owned satellite network Al Jazeera. Qaradawi has urged Muslims who are unable to wage jihad to financially support the mujahedeen (holy warriors). He has also repeatedly promoted and endorsed suicide bombings against U.S. and Israeli forces, lauding the “martyrdom operations in which a given Muslim fighter turns himself or herself into a human bomb that casts terror in the hearts of the enemy.” Qaradawi has also called for the deaths of U.S. citizens in Iraq, gay people, and Jews and expressed support for domestic violence against women.
Qatar has a long history of supporting the Brotherhood and its offshoots. When the Brotherhood came to power in Egypt, Qatar loaned President Mohammed Morsi approximately $7.5 billion. During Morsi’s presidency, amounts as high as $850,000 were reportedly secretly transferred to the Brotherhood from Qatar’s former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. Qatar also continues to provide economic and political support to Hamas, one of the Brotherhood’s most violent chapters. In 2012, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani became the first head of state to visit Gaza, pledging $400 million to Hamas. Since then, the Qatari government has reportedly continued to send millions of dollars annually to Hamas and its employees.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, and the Maldives severed diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar in response to its support for the Brotherhood and other extremist and terrorist groups. In response, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told was quoted as saying his country has the right to support groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.