A Hug Explains Qatar’s Radicalism

By Souad Sbai

The public embrace between the emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Islamist world leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf Al Qaradawi, dispel all doubts over Qatar’s actions and objectives in Europe. And it is a scandal that the international community keep closing its eyes toward certain activities that can cost us a lot of blood.

The emir and the preacher, a story with two characters: the emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the charismatic world leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Yusuf Al Qaradawi.

We know a lot about former, although what is of major interest to us is his activity and the activity of his family, starting from his father. This activity is about supporting and financing the biggest terrorist groups of the last ten years. Qatar spends and spreads around the world huge amounts of money. Doha’s money is invested in football, tourist facilities, schools, hospitals, universities, and in entire neighborhoods. Also in Italy.

On the other hand, little is known about the latter. When his figure rose to prominence, anything was done to avoid telling his story and delineating his features as an extremist preacher fueling hatred and jihadism.

None remembers that in 2011 he opened a Friday’s inflaming prayer in Tahrir Square in Egypt, clearly showing how the anti-government protests had been seized by the Muslim Brotherhood with its radical outlook. The mainstream media were in fact busy in facilitating the fall of the Arab countries. That was the triumph, fortunately a short one, of the Dawa, proselytism at its highest levels.

None remembers this event because no television channel dared to broadcast those images, and no newspaper dared to talk about it. No media exposed Qaradawi for justifying jihad and suicide bombers on Al Jazeera, the major tv channel owned – not accidentally – by Qatar.

This man is banned from entering the United States and Britain because of his ideology and activities.

However, these two gentlemen, the emir and the preacher, two days ago were sitting together at the same table during a dinner organized to celebrate the end of the day in Ramadan. They hugged each other, and this gesture got immortalized in a picture. The hug was almost paternal, but its real nature is a poisonous one.

Once again, we did not learn of the hug from Western newspapers or television channels. It was thanks to a series of tweets posted by some US consultants, including a former collaborator of Senator Ted Cruz. After seeing (and publishing) the images, they decided to leave Qatar and break off any relationship with Doha, appalled by what happened.

“I’ve lost hope that they are seriously intended to change,” as one of them said on Twitter. To change? It is surprising that there is still someone who believes in the fairy tale of Qatar being engaged in the fight against terrorism, especially considering that Qatar has not stopped a single day helping and supporting all the movements inspired by proselytism and jihadism in the Arab world and in the West.

How is it possible that Qatar still defines itself as a country that does not finance and does not support terrorism? How is it possible that Qatar defines itself as a country struggling against the Muslim Brotherhood’s radicalism and jihadist proselytism? And, above all, how is it possible that the International Community is not ashamed to continue having relations with Qatar instead of isolating it, following the example of Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, which asked Doha to cut off its ties with radicalism? How is it possible that Qatar is not considered directly responsible for every attack and every drop of blood spilled on the European soil?