By Souad Sbai
Just over a year has elapsed since the Arab Quartet, composed of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain, announced the breaking of diplomatic relations with Qatar, as well as the adoption of economic sanctions and of an air, maritime and land embargo toward Doha and its territory.
However, as stated by the UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, in a recent editorial for a prominent Arab newspaper, there has been no progress so far in restoring dialogue and harmony within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). As a matter of fact, Qatar continues to interfere in the internal affairs of the neighboring countries, and to support extremism and terrorism, precisely the «Muslim Brotherhood and other groups linked to Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria and Libya.» Qatar has strengthened relations with Iran and Turkey to loosen up its international isolation, and has increased its support to the Houthis militias in Yemen, despite they keep challenging the legitimate and internationally recognized government, by occupying the northern part of the country on behalf of Tehran’s expansionist ambitions in the Middle East.
In short, the regime of Tamim Al Thani has not disposed of the outfit of “rogue state” that unfortunately his father Hamad made wear to his country. Tamim has not shown any willingness to seek at least a mediation with regard to the conditions put forward by the Quartet to remove sanctions and normalize diplomatic relations: the so-called 13 points.
Tamim claims that Qatar’s national sovereignty must be respected, blaming the Quartet for forcing its will upon Doha. But such a justification has no plausibility facing Qatar’s policies, which constitute a threat to the security of the entire region and of the international community.
While Al Jazeera – the powerful mouthpiece of Tamim’s regime and of its allies – proceeds with its work of disinformation on Middle East affairs, with fake news and misleading television propaganda, Gargash appropriately points out that «this crisis did not come out of the blue and was not a sudden shock» to the UAE and the other countries of the Quartet. The roots of the crisis go back to 1995, the year in which Sheikh Khalifa was dethroned right by his son Hamad. After performing this political parricide, Hamad overturns the identity of the country, placing it at the service of his ambitions for conquest.
Al Jazeera – founded in 1996 – is the cornerstone of Hamad’s plan, together with the Muslim Brotherhood, a major transnational Islamist movement with terrorist ramifications. The appointment of Youssef Al Qaradawi as the ideological leader of Al Jazeera’s caliphate symbolizes the strategic alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, an alliance later inherited by Tamim when his father passed the torch onto him in 2103.
Hamad’s abdication was merely a tactical move to hide himself behind the scenes, while giving out an illusory sign of rupture in respect to the policies pursued by Qatar since his ascent to the throne. These policies culminated in the uprisings that swept across the Maghreb and Mashrek in 2011, and that inappropriately passed down into history as “Arab Spring”.
Actually, Hamad remains the one who pulls the strings of Doha’s regional and international schemes. The main goal is always the same: to dominate the Middle East through the Muslim Brotherhood. The “Arab Spring” was nothing more than the harvest of what had been sown as of the mid-nineties. Under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, secret meetings and training activities were held for years in numerous countries of the Arab world, with the aim to lay the groundwork for the deceptive revolutions that, in the name of freedom and justice, should have established new governments led by Islamist members of the Muslim Brotherhood, with Hamad playing the role of the godfather seated on his golden throne in Doha.
The plot was not limited to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan and also Syria, but was extended to the GCC countries. There is irrefutable evidence that Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood attempted to trigger a regime change in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain, often in coordination with the Iranian ally. The case of the UAE is as much resounding as little known in the West.
A collection of videos and recordings unquestionably demonstrates that a vast network of affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, including prominent figures and members of the elite of the country, sought to overthrow Abu Dhabi’s government. In a video extrapolated from a secret meeting among members of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is possible to see and listen to a woman, veiled up to her eyes, complaining about the “lack of conditions to spark a revolution in the UAE, as the economic situation is good, people are happy and love their rulers.”
In early 2013, after extensive investigations, the Muslim Brotherhood network in the UAE was dismantled and its members were arrested. Hamad’s abdication, coincidentally, came about immediately after. The GCC countries tried to re-establish good-neighborly relations with Qatar, but as Gargash recalls «the new Emir did not respect» the agreement that was reached, «although he had asserted his commitment to it in the presence of Gulf leaders in Riyadh.»
The direction undertaken by Tamim is therefore in perfect continuity with Hamad’s, although the “Arab Spring,” and with it the paternal schemes, ended up in a great failure. Against this backdrop, the Quartet countries could no longer confine their reaction to the temporary recall of their ambassadors from Doha. They were forced to take more severe measures, raising the case internationally.
The dramatic experience that the Arab world has been going through with the aggressive and destabilizing policies of Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood should be of lesson to the West. The ultimate goal of the schemes of Hamad, Tamin and the many Qaradawis is to conquer and subjugate Europe and the United States, not only the Middle East and the Muslim world. However, as the UAE Foreign Minister bitterly notes, «there is no hope for an intervention by the West in support of the Quartet.»
The West does not want to take side in this conflict, but its equidistance corresponds less to a strategic choice, and more to mere opportunism pursuing a short-term logic. In particular, Europe has become the conscious target of Doha’s relentless shopping campaign taking over industries, companies, hospitals, world cups and football clubs, politicians, journalists, academics and anyone can help to advance its goals. At the same time, the Muslim Brotherhood continues to operate freely in Italy, France, Spain, Germany and Great Britain, opening mosques and cultural centers, and penetrating the social, cultural and political fabric, and not only with left-wing governments.
In this context, the equidistance in the ongoing Gulf crisis is equivalent to mere indifference toward the future of the West itself, which is literally being conquered by the Islamism of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar, without opposing any reaction. The appeal coming from a country at the forefront of the fight against extremism and terrorism, such as the UAE, should open eyes, awake minds and induce the West to clearly line-up with the Quartet, coherently with the very Western interests.