The Emir of Qatar’s Dissimulation about the Muslim Brotherhood

Sept. 22 2022

For years, Qatar has used its vast fossil-fuel wealth to fund Islamist groups throughout the Middle East and beyond, especially those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood—including Hamas. This policy, together with Doha’s maintenance of friendly relations with Tehran, has repeatedly stirred the ire of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Yet in a recent interview with a French magazine, the country’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, flatly denied any relationship between his government and the Brotherhood, adding that “there are no active members of the Muslim Brotherhood, or any groups related to it, on Qatari land.” Alberto M. Fernandez comments:

One thing I learned from decades of government service is that there are many ways for government officials—all of them, including Western ones—to lie that skirt outright falsehood in some technical fashion while covering up an inconvenient reality. . . . It may well be that Sheikh Tamim is absolutely right that at the precise moment of his remarks there were no card-carrying Muslim Brotherhood members being hosted in Doha, no one who was waiting on a check or a bag of money from Qatar, or whose work was being facilitated in some way by the Qatari state.

The remarks [ignore the fact that] the two Muslim Brotherhood-type governments in the world, the ones in power in Ankara and Gaza, very much do receive billions in Qatari support. [There is also] another Qatari favorite, the Islamist Nahda party of Tunisia, which held power until recently in that country.

Tamim’s remarks also [require] a carve-out for his mentor Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a longtime Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leader but for many years now a Qatari citizen and connected to Islamist organizations created for him and funded by Qatar. . . . And while the Al Jazeera Arabic television network funded by Qatar and based in Doha is chock-full of Islamists, who is to say whether or not they are “active” Brotherhood members, perhaps just inactive ones who think exactly like them?

Interestingly, one place where it seems you did not see the emir’s words about the Muslim Brotherhood highlighted was in Al Jazeera itself. An Arabic-language news article on the . . . interview in Al Jazeera was headlined “Emir of Qatar: Doha’s Foreign Policy Aims at Bringing Views Closer Together.” The article included no mention whatsoever of Tamim’s remarks [about the Brotherhood].

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Al Jazeera, Hamas, Islamism, Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar

 

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy