Starting from the second half of the 20th century, Qatar has become a hub for the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the years, Qatar has become very supportive of this group, despite their many atrocities and links to terrorism and extremism.
It is important to trace the history between the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar to get a proper understanding of how the two came together. The entry of the Muslim Brotherhood into Qatari society took place in three stages.
The first stage took place in 1954. Egypt was then under the presidency of Naseer who made it a priority to break the Muslim Brotherhood organization. Members of the group fled into Qatar.
The second stage took place in 1982 and this time, members came from Syria. The group had a stronghold in Hama which was bombed by Hafez el-Assad forcing them to flee. As earlier, they headed to Qatar.
The final stage occurred after the infamous September 11 attacks. This time, the Muslim Brotherhood was driven out from Saudi Arabia had who finally realized how dangerous the group was.
In all cases, Qatar welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood. As for the group, they slowly permeated into the Qatari society, entering into important posts which would allow them to sway popular opinion in their favor. It was certainly not difficult thanks to Al Jazeera, the news network.
There has never been any doubt about Al Jazeera’s political leanings. Throughout its history, it has been a part of several controversies. It has made incendiary broadcasts against USA several times, including during the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. It has also been revealed that the network was in contact with Osama bin Laden. During the Iraq war, it was noticed that the network was in support of Saddam.
After the war, Al Jazeera began to portray the terrorist groups in Qatar in a positive light. Later, the Egyptian Maamun Fendi would go on to state that around 50% of Al Jazeera’s personnel were a part of the Muslim Brothers. As such, there is a high chance that this network has become tool of the group. It is certainly something to worry about since the network reaches some 60 million people.
Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood may already be using Qatar and Al Jazeera to further its goals. It seems to have found the perfect way to retaliate against Arab leaders and Sunni Arab regimes. The group has now aligned itself with Iran’s interests as well, threatening the stability of the entire Middle East region.
The support for the Muslim Brotherhood from Qatar has already drawn the ire of Arab nations in the Gulf. Even Europe has been affected. Thanks to the group’s efforts, social harmony programs such as the Prevent Anti-radicalization program of the UK have been undermined. Many believe that Qatar needs to stop its support and association with the Brotherhood as soon as possible.
Even Gulf countries are worried about the association. The Arab Federation for Human Rights has condemned the support of Qatar for terrorist activities. It has accused Doha of using democracy as an excuse to support the group despite not being a democratic country at all.
Although Qatar is facing international sanctions and condemnation, it has steadfastly refused to cut ties to Muslim Brotherhood. It has become a source of worry for not only the Middle East but also the world at large.