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GCC spat descends into personal abuse

May 30, 2017 at 7:21 pm

King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz (L) is welcomed with an official ceremony by Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (R) at Royal Palace in Doha, Qatar on 5 December 2016 [Bandar Algaloud/ Saudi Kingdom/ Handout]

The internal spat between members of the GCC has escalated into personal attack on social media as a Saudi newspaper hurled derogatory remarks at the mother of the Emir of Qatar, Sheik Mozah.

Saudi newspaper Al-Eqtisadiah mocked the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, in a tweet that also made fun of the Emir’s mother. The tweet mentioned that since Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Tamim’s father, came to power in a coup, he used his wife to promote his political agenda and exploited her image to hide away from the Qatari people out of fear.

The tweet, which in a conservative Muslim society would be seen as being extremely disrespectful, highlighted the escalation of attacks against the Qataris by the country’s more powerful Gulf neighbours, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Read: Qatar deports Saudi citizen to Riyadh

Tension within the GCC flared after the Qatar News Agency was hacked and the site carried remarks criticising a key GCC policy, which is to isolate Iran. Saudi, UAE and Egyptian media have ignored Qatar’s claims that the site was hacked.

The attack on Qatar and its head of state has continued, which some believe is an indication that it has been agreed at a very high level in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The Foreign Minister of Qatar, Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, responded with an admonishing tweet of his own citing what is believed to be comments made by Ali bin Abi Talib, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)’s son-in-law and the fourth Caliph: “Every disease has a medicine bad manners has no medicine.”