Amidst the unprecedented dirty war that is being waged against Qatar by the counter-revolution regimes, the issues of Qatar’s support for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Muslim Brotherhood (classified as a terrorist movement in these countries) have emerged as the two most important reasons for the coalition’s campaign against Qatar. However, anyone reading between the lines will find that this is just another lie; a brilliant invention of the “post-truth” media that orchestrates this campaign.
It is well known that Muslim Brotherhood has no open organised presence in Qatar, unlike other countries some of which are leaders in the coalition, like Bahrain, and others that are allies, like Kuwait. We have not heard from the coalition of aggressors any comments concerning them. In fact, in Egypt itself, Islamic groups, including Salafists and the Muslim Brothers (such as Aboul Fotouh Group), outnumber the groups that are active in the entire Gulf. In addition, a number of countries that have cut or reduced their relations with Qatar under evident pressure, such as Jordan and Mauritania, have overt Muslim Brotherhood organisations that are active both inside and outside their parliaments. In other countries, which have neutral positions towards Qatar and have not been attacked or criticised such as Sudan, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, Islamist movements participate in the governments and parliaments.
Therefore, Qatar is by no means the Arab country that provides the greatest support to or contains the largest presence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Even with regard to political refugees from the Muslim Brotherhood, their number in Qatar is not much higher than in other countries, such as Britain, Switzerland and even the US. In fact, the number of Islamic movements in Europe is much greater than in the majority of the Gulf countries, including Qatar. Consequently, the issue of the Muslim Brotherhood and support for it is not a matter of great importance, even within the coalition of aggressors against Qatar. Based on that, it cannot be the reason that these countries have made their proclamations and for which they have assembled whomsoever.
The reason also could not be Hamas, for the latter is just an excuse and instrument. When it was hosted in Saudi Arabia by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in 2007 to arrange a reconciliation agreement with Fatah, Hamas was more committed to the military alternative and was even more radical than it is today in rejecting any agreement. Did Saudi Arabia host terrorist movements at the time? And how do Hamas leaders come to Doha, without passing through capitals such as Cairo? It is very well known that there is close coordination between the Egyptian security authorities and Hamas; indeed even closer than that which is between Doha and Gaza. Does this mean that Egypt deals with terrorists and supports them?
All of this confirms that Hamas is not a problem for the parties that planned the aggression. It might be a problem for some who “collaborated” with these parties, such as the former Palestinian official, Mohammad Dahlan, who aspires to be Mahmoud Abbas’ successor, and who admits that he works in the UAE intelligence, as stated in a book that was published last summer.
Clearly, Hamas was used as an instrument to attract the support of Benjamin Netanyahu and later the support of the US President Donald Trump. The campaigners against Qatar present themselves as guardians of Israel whose security is threatened by Qatar; in other words, they are the front line defenders of Israel against “extremism”. The regime of Abd Al-Fattah Al-Sisi had already asked for Netanyahu’s favour by proving itself more Zionist than Avigdor Lieberman and more aggressive towards the Palestinians than the “Price tag” group.
The second purpose of raising the issue of Hamas is to push Qatar to identify with the position of countries that do not object to the siege of Gaza and do not mind accepting Israel as a “Jewish state” or paying tribute to Netanyahu. Its aim is to undermine Qatar’s credibility and its status, because their problem, as we have pointed out, is not Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, but it is rather Qatar’s moral status and media power. When these four countries, with their material, human and technical capabilities, decide that a small country like Qatar poses a threat to their security, it means that the problem of these countries is their inability to match Qatar’s media accomplishment or its diplomacy.
These countries have their own rival channels, and they have paid as much money as possible to purchase Western newspapers and tv channels. They have even used Israel against each other. But all this has not made it possible for them to compete with Al-Jazeera, so they are now insisting on silencing it. The aim is to ridicule Qatar’s credibility until it falls to the level of its competitors. Only then could they become equal and only then they would be reassured that Qatar will not pose any threat.
However, the strategy that has been pursued to achieve this goal is self-defeating, because the use of explicit and blatant lies in order to belittle the credibility of others is definitely not the best way to achieve one’s goal. The matter becomes even more complicated if the mass media used in this campaign is notorious for propagating nothing but lies and hypocrisy and for lacking public trust. This is because the promotion of outrageous lies will not make their weapons sharper, especially in this era where the detection of lies is available at the touch of a button. The more these media outlets fabricate lies, the more their credibility would be tarnished, and their status would decline, along with the status of those who took this network for refuge.
Before and after all this, this is the holy month of Ramadan. There is no doubt that the heavens will the final judgement concerning the return to the ways of Musaylimah (the false prophet who arose in Arabia toward the end of Prophet Muhammad’s mission) and the transformation of the land of the two Holy Mosques to one of the greatest sources of promoting slander from that place; in this month; and in this way; cooperating in iniquity and aggression.
Translated from Al Araby Al Jadid, 10th June, 2017
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.