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January 06, 2015

Pressure on Qatar to Reduce Its Funding of Extremist Groups

qatar emir.jpg

On Dec. 29, 2014, the Wall Street Journal published an analysis piece by Yaroslav Trofimov, "Qatar Scales Back Intervention in Middle East Conflicts," describing the pressure brought to bear on Qatar to reduce its support for radical Muslim groups like the Muslim Brotherhood. The article delves into the important topic of Qatar's role in fomenting instability and radicalism and the reaction it has generated among the most important Arab states.

Qatar has a tiny population, but it enjoys outsized influence due to its enormous wealth derived from vast natural-gas deposits. In recent decades, it has increasingly used this wealth to promote the Muslim Brotherhood. Qatar's ruler, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thant, controls the Qatari-based international news channel, Al Jazeera.

Since the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egyptian government and accession of General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi to the presidency of Egypt, Egypt and Qatar have been sharply at odds. As Egypt contends with chronic terrorism in the Sinai peninsula, Qatar's role as a main donor to Hamas in Gaza has become a major point of contention. It's not just Egypt that has a problem with the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has antagonized Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other Gulf emirates.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates recently took the unusual step of withdrawing their ambassadors to Qatar. Isolation from its fellow Sunni Arab states appears to have prompted the Qatari ruling clique to reconsider its stance in the region.

Trofimov recounts that after a visit by a senior Qatari envoy to Egypt, Qatar shut down its Egyptian channel of Al Jazeera. This decision came despite Al Jazeera's public campaign to shame the Egyptian government into releasing two of its correspondents who were arrested and convicted of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and falsely reporting events.

Trofimov's piece is the type of reporting that major news organizations should encourage. Such analysis draws readers away from an excessive focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and provides insight into events unfolding in the Middle East.

Posted by SS at January 6, 2015 11:09 AM


Hello there:

I have a few questions about this blog (and the situation in general), if you would please indulge me.

1) Does this blog take the position that Saudi Arabia also contributes millions to export their terrorism to the world, or is this blog only focused on Qatar?

2) Is this a good place to discuss writing or activist strategies and priorities - in terms of how to force or convince Qatar (and other countries) to stop funding terror?

Camera seems like a really good resource for information - in terms of correcting anti-Israel propaganda. However, I'm really hoping that Camera can be (or is) something much greater than that, in terms of creating, directing and/ or promoting coordinated (well thought out) strategies and actions, designed to eat away at terrorist funding. Specifically, I'm hoping that college campuses and even retirees can be recruited in this effort too. But again, is this the purpose?

Posted by: Amos at January 13, 2015 02:32 PM

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