For example, although Qatar has maintained good economic and diplomatic ties with Tehran, it has also hosted American military bases and CENTCOM, besides having limited trade relations with Israel.
However, I prefer to advance the following thesis: Qatar’s foreign policy at present is based on the principle of promoting Sunni interests, and where possible, the interests of Sunni Islamists.
For instance, recently the country has come under criticism from some Western diplomats and the National Transitional Council (NTC) for its role in Libya. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Qatari aid has circumvented the NTC, and has been provided to independent rebel militias dominated by Islamist commanders.
Two individuals particularly favored by Qatar are the Islamist leader of the Tripoli Military Council — Abdul-Aziz Belhaj, who is generally not trusted by rebels in and around Misrata, and Sheikh Ali Sallabi, a Libyan cleric currently living in Qatar’s capital and with close ties to Belhaj. Tensions have emerged between Sallabi and Mahmoud Jabril, the interim prime minister for the NTC described as a “tyrant in waiting” and part of a group of “extreme secularists” by Sallabi.
Meanwhile, when it came to the Syrian uprising, in which the Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood could well be playing a prominent role in the opposition to the Alawite-dominated government, Qatar quickly transformed from an ally into a harsh critic of Assad’s regime. Al-Jazeera’s Arabic channel rapidly expanded its coverage of protests in Syria, and Yousef al-Qaradhawi, host of al-Jazeera’s “Shari’a and Life” show, called for the Baathist regime to be removed from power.
The cleric criticized Assad as someone “held prisoner by his entourage and the [Alawite] sect.” Al-Jazeera, it should be noted, is owned by a member of the Qatari ruling dynasty, and its Arabic channel is certainly aligned with Qatar’s foreign policy agenda, intended for Middle Eastern audiences and very different from the English version that is aimed at international viewers outside the region.
The latter’s remarks particularly annoyed the Syrian government, leading to a suspension of ties between Syria and Qatar as Assad reportedly told the Qatari emir’s emissary that al-Qaradhawi must apologize for his statements if there are going to be friendly relations again.
And so it is that al-Jazeera’s Arabic channel has been more than happy to provide coverage of demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, all of which are places where Sunni Islamists can be empowered (the Muslim Brotherhood, the Ennahda party, and the Islah party respectively). Yet al-Jazeera’s Arabic channel generally ignores the unrest in Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia, both with Shi’a majorities protesting against Sunni rule.
Bahrain is a country marked by Sunni minority rule at the cost of significant sectarian discrimination against the Shi’a majority. In fact, Qatar has even aided Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council in sending troops to assist the regime in quelling the protests.
As for eastern Saudi Arabia, a perusal of al-Jazeera’s Arabic news site reveals no coverage of protests there. As Asad Abu Khalil of “The Angry Arab News Service” correctly notes (for once), “to verify what is going on in Saudi Arabia, al-Jazeera asked its famous witness, Abu Muhammad in Idlib, if he saw protests from his window. Abu Muhammad said that he couldn’t see anything and al-Jazeera accordingly reported that all is well in the kingdom.”
Finally, in keeping with Qatar’s warm ties with Turkey under the Islamist AKP, al-Jazeera’s Arabic channel has tended to provide uncritical coverage of the prime minister Erdoğan’s efforts to bolster his image as a friend and helping hand for the Arab world, while not mentioning the water crises Turkey’s dam projects in Anatolia have helped to trigger in Iraq and Syria. To be sure, the policy predates the AKP government’s accession to power in 2002, but has only expanded and accelerated under Erdoğan.
Unfortunately, there has been a far too widespread tendency, both in the media and in policy circles, to see Qatar either as a moderate Western ally in the ongoing unrest as part of the Arab Spring, or somehow as an advocate for liberal democracy and reform in the Middle East and North Africa. Rather, its true Sunni sectarian and pro-Islamist agenda needs to be recognized.
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi is a student at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and an intern at the Middle East Forum.
(LATIMES) Marcel Ceccaldi, a French lawyer who previously worked for Kadafi's regime and now represents his family, told AFP on Wednesday that the complaint would be filed with the International Criminal Court in the Hague because the family believes a NATO strike on Kadafi’s convoy led directly to his death.
Kadafi, who ruled Libya for more than four decades, was captured alive by revolutionary fighters on Thursday in his hometown of Surt, ending an eight-month war that cost more than 30,000 lives. The circumstances of his death remain unclear.
Libyan authorities have said he likely died in crossfire. Others, including the international rights advocacy group Human Rights Watch, believe Kadafi was executed. But Kadafi’s family is convinced that he died as a result of NATO aircraft firing on his convoy as it fled Surt, Ceccaldi told AFP.
"The willful killing [of someone protected by the Geneva Convention] is defined as a war crime by Article 8 of the ICC's Rome Statute," the news agency quoted Ceccaldi as saying. "Kadafi's homicide shows that the goal of [NATO] member states was not to protect civilians but to overthrow the regime.”
It was unclear when the complaint would be filed, but Ceccaldi said the lawsuit would target NATO executive bodies and leaders of the alliance’s member states.
In June, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Kadafi, his son and onetime heir apparent Seif Islam Kadafi, and Abdullah Sanoussi, the regime's former security chief, for murder and other crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the regime's crackdown on protesters this year.
On Tuesday, media reports indicated that Seif was trying to escape to neighboring Niger, where Sanoussi had reportedly already fled.
FB's Saudi Cleric-Next person who Kidnaps an Israeli Soldier gets 100,000/ What a LOWLIFE ! JUST LIKE MOHAMMED
Warning-YNET Lefty garbage to follow:
A week after the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, top Saudi cleric Dr. Awad al-Qarni is offering a $100,000 reward to anyone who kidnaps Israeli soldiers.
He is responding to an ad published by the Libman family offering a similar reward for anyone who catches the person who murdered their relative Shlomo Libman. Libman was killed by terrorists near the settlement of Yitzhar in 1998.
Israeli army officers ordered to foil kidnappings, even at expense of soldier's life
Hamas vows to abduct more soldiers ....
"The press reported that the Zionist settlers will pay huge amounts of money to whoever kills the freed Palestinian prisoners," al-Qarni said. "In response to these criminals I declare to the world that any Palestinian who will jail an Israeli soldier and exchange him for prisoners will be rewarded with a $100,000 prize," he wrote on his Facebook page.
Al-Qarni's Facebook page
Al-Qarni's post has already received more than 1,000 likes and extensive coverage in Hamas-affiliated newspapers in Gaza....
Al-Qarni is a famous Muslim cleric who often guests on TV shows and operates his own website where he discusses various religious law issues. The Palestine-Islam issue is particularly close to his heart.
Meanwhile in Gaza, Hamas Minister Fathi Hamad admitted that Israel's withdrawal from the Strip enabled Hamas to hide Gilad Shalit for so long.
In an interview with Lebanese daily as-Safir Hamad said that the "military campaign in Gaza abolished any security coordination with Israel and the Strip's liberation allowed us to conceal Shalit for five years."
Hamad stressed that Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas' military wing managed to keep Shalit captive despite Israeli attempts to extract him and admitted that they paid a heavy price for keeping Shalit captive.
"That is why the deal is a triumph for the Palestinian people and residents of Gaza who have sacrificed 600 lives during Israel's first response to the bold abduction."
kind of creepy
Pam Geller’s new poster vandalized by leftist, so sanctimonious she can’t even see why she was arrestedMona Eltahawy is a darling of the feminist progressive left. She was recently attacked in Egypt's Tahrir square. ...another left win...
well, good! This will allow the public to talk about Islam. The more free conversation on the issue the better. they can't frame the con...
it did work for Obama though. Remember Obama Girl? image from the South Florida Chronicle It_is_not_clear_where_or_how the g...
Liberal multiculturalists insist that Islam is the same as other major world religions. As usual, they are full of shit.. The l...
but the Third Intifada pages are OK?
MFS - The Other News: Former counter terrorism head: FBI never called Ft.Hood 'Workplace Violence'.
Israel Matzav: It's official: Government inquiry finds al-Dura 'killing' was a hoax
MFS - The Other News: Report: Top Obama lawyer told of IRS targeting in April. SMOKING GUN: OBAMA MET WITH IRS UNION CHIEF THE DAY BEFORE ...
"We Didn't Target the Juice" - IRS reinstates Zionist Organization of America's tax exempt status. HT: ManyFaces / Israe...
...they couldn't argue with the facts. Doing things that give you pleasure... is in fact... GOOD FOR YOU : Staring at BOOBIES increas...