Why is the Obama Administration in bed with the Muslim Brotherhood?

November 2, 2012
Because Hussein Obama is a Muslim Brotherhood operative. 

This article by Ted Belman  makes the case really well.
American Thinker:
By Ted Belman on February 26, 2012
Dr. Essam Abdallah, an Egyptian liberal intellectual, in an article published last October in the leading liberal pan-Arab journal Elaph, refers to certain reports coming out of Washington:

These reports reveal the depth of the below-the-surface coordination between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian regime and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya and Jordan. This bloc of regimes and organizations is now becoming the greatest Islamist radical lobby ever to penetrate and infiltrate the White House, Congress, the State Department and the main decision making centers of the US government. All of this is happening at a time when the US government is going through its most strategically dangerous period in modern times because of its need to confront the Iranian Mullahs regime, which is expanding in the Middle East, as well as penetrating the United States, via powerful and influential allies.

Abdallah alleged that “the popular revolts in the Arab world — and the Obama Administration’s position towards them — were determined by political battles between various pressure groups in Washington.”

He followed up with another article this month in which he asks:

[W]hy isn’t the West in general and the United States Administration in particular clearly and forcefully supporting our civil societies and particularly the secular democrats of the region? Why were the bureaucracies in Washington and in Brussels partnering with Islamists in the region and not with their natural allies the democracy promoting political forces?

Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism said of this article: “This is one of the most important articles I have read in years.”  He then made allegations of his own:

It was just revealed two days ago that FBI Director Mueller secretly met on February 8 at FBI headquarters with a coalition of groups including various Islamist and militant Arabic groups who in the past have defended Hamas and Hizballah and have also issued blatantly anti-Semitic statements. At this meeting, the FBI revealed that it had removed more than 1000 presentations and curricula on Islam from FBI offices around the country that was deemed “offensive.” The FBI did not reveal what criteria was used to determine why material was considered “offensive” but knowledgeable law enforcement sources have told the IPT that it was these radical groups who made that determination. Moreover, numerous FBI agents have confirmed that from now on, FBI headquarters has banned all FBI offices from inviting any counter-terrorist specialists who are considered “anti-Islam” by Muslim Brotherhood front groups.

This comes as no surprise to me.  In August of 2011, after making the case, I wrote, “To my mind, the alliance between the Obama administration and the Muslim Brotherhood is the cornerstone of Obama’s New Middle East policy.”
The most damning bit of evidence was reported by Herb London in his article, “U.S. Betrays Syria’s Opposition“:

In an effort to understand and placate Syrian opposition groups, Secretary Clinton invited them to a meeting in Washington. Most of those invited, however, have links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Missing from the invitations are Kurdish leaders, Sunni liberals, Assyrians and Christian spokesmen. According to various reports the State Department made a deal with Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood representatives either to share power with Assad to stabilize the government, or replace him if this effort fails. One organization, the Syrian Democracy Council (SDC), an opposition group composed of diverse ethnic and religious organizations, including Alawis, Aramaic Christians, Druze and Assyrians was conspicuously — and no coincidentally — omitted from the invitation list.

Caroline Glick wrote in August of last year:

What these observers fail to recognize is that Erdogan’s interests in a post-Assad Syria have little in common with US interests. Erdogan will seek to ensure the continued disenfranchisement of Syria’s Kurdish minority. And he will work towards the Islamification of Syria through the Muslim Brotherhood.
This week Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a private meeting with these brave democrats. Why didn’t she hold a public meeting? Why hasn’t Obama welcomed them to the White House?”
Today there is a coalition of Syrian opposition figures that include all ethnic groups in Syria. Their representatives have been banging the doors of the corridors of power in Washington and beyond. Yet the same Western leaders who were so eager to recognize the Libyan opposition despite the presence of al Qaeda terrorists in the opposition tent have refused to publicly embrace Syrian regime opponents that seek a democratic, federal Syria that will live at peace with Israel and embrace liberal policies.
By refusing to embrace liberal, multi-ethnic regime opponents, the administration is all but ensuring the success of the Turkish bid to install the Muslim Brotherhood in power if Assad is overthrown.

The Syrian Democratic Coalition (SDC), above mentioned, is self-described thus:

The Syrian Democratic Coalition (SDC) is an emerging coalition of diverse Syrian organizations coming together to help bring an end to the Assad regime and promote the transformation of Syria into a secular democracy based in liberty. The coalition is founded upon a belief in the separation of religion from state and is dedicated to establishing a new constitution and transparent federal republic in Syria, based in reason that equally protects minority rights, promotes gender equality, and embraces the rights and liberties of every individual as enumerated in the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights. This growing coalition crosses all ethnic, religious and tribal lines to represent all Syrians. It currently includes members of Save Syria Now!, the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, the Union of Syrian Arab Tribes and the Syrian Christian Democratic Movement.

Sherkoh Abbas is secretary general of the Syria Democracy Council and president of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria.  I first met him when he invited me to be a director of the American Kurdish Friendship League some five years ago.
Recently, he confided in me that in all his dealings with the State Department over the last two years, no interest was shown in his coalition, and instead, he was continually pressed to support the Syrian National Council (SNC), made up of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists and Arabists.  He believes that the U.S. is working with Salafi groups, and the Turkish government, to create an opposition in Syria that is strictly Islamist.  Such an opposition would serve Turkish economic interests in Syria and keep the Kurdish issue dormant in Turkey as well as in Syria.
For the last six months at least, Obama has been cultivating a relationship with PM Erdoğan of Turkey.  The budding relationship prompted Barry Rubin to ask, “Why Is an Anti-American Islamist, Obama’s Favorite ME Leader?
According to Sherkoh Abbas, one faction of the SDC had family connections in various Gulf States at the highest level and went to them for financial support.  They were turned down, as Obama had instructed them to give money only to the SNC.
Nevertheless, the SDC is gaining traction amongst the Kurds, Druze, Sunnis, Christians, and even the Alawites.  This is so because these various minorities are beginning to think of a post-Assad Syria, and they all want a region of their own.  They have expressed their willingness to be secular, democratic, and a friend of Israel and will be asked to commit to this in writing.  They don’t want Islamism or Arabism.  They prefer peace, freedom, and prosperity.  So why isn’t Obama embracing them?
The Obama administration is totally in sync with the Muslim Brotherhood.  At the renowned Herzlia Conference this year, I met Salman Shalkh, one of the speakers from Qatar.  We had a long conversation in which he kept pushing for the Saudi Plan to be embraced by Israel.  This is the plan that Obama is committed to — i.e., ’67 borders with mutually agreed-upon swaps.
Shalkh argued that Israel should talk to Hamas, and I countered, “What’s the point?  We have nothing to offer to them.”  Shalkh was also an apologist for the Muslim Brotherhood.  These arguments should be expected from someone from Qatar.  Unfortunately, the same arguments are being made by the White House.  It is instructive to note that Shalkh is director of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, the Arab offshoot of the Brookings Institute that has so much influence with the State Department.  He told me that he was one of the people who drafted the Roadmap on behalf of the State Department.  I told him that it didn’t surprise me and suggested that he probably drafted the Saudi Peace Plan for them as well.
What is going on now in American foreign policy is not so much a product of the Islamist lobby fueled by both the Muslim Brotherhood and the gulf states as it is a product of a strategic alliance that has existed between the U.S. and the gulf states led by Saudi Arabia since before Israel declared her independence.  Unfortunately, President Obama, with his overt outreach to Islam, Muslims, and the Muslim Brotherhood, has taken it to another level.
It would appear that the ideas expressed by Mearsheimer and Walt in their book, The Israel Lobby, are being embraced by both the State Department and the White House.  These include the idea that the Israel lobby is too strong for America’s good and that Israel is a liability to America.
But the truth is otherwise, as John R. MacArthur pointed out in 2007, in “The Vast Power of the Saudi Lobby“:

Somehow, though, I can’t shake the idea that the Israel lobby, no matter how powerful, isn’t all it is cracked up to be, particularly where it concerns the Bush administrations past and present. Indeed, when I think of pernicious foreign lobbies with disproportionate sway over American politics, I can’t see past Saudi Arabia and its royal house, led by King Abdullah.

This article is a classic and should be read in full.
Obama has decidedly moved from an alliance with Israel to an alliance with the Islamists.
MK  Aryeh Eldad, in a speech  given in the fall in the U.S., when Israel was intending to act against Iran  militarily, said word came down from the White House that “if you act alone, you  will remain alone.”  Because Israel is so dependent on the U.S. for  resupply of weapons and munitions in a prolonged war, this threat changed the  calculus immediately.  It is true that when Mahmoud Abbas was threatening  to go to the U.N. for recognition, the Obama administration lobbied around the  world for negative votes.  But at the same time, Obama threatened Netanyahu  that Obama would withhold his veto if Israel took punitive action against the PA  by annexing some of the territories or by withholding funds.  Finally, he  used the same threat to get Israel to instruct AIPAC to lobby Congress not to  punish the PA by withholding U.S. funds.
Over  the last six months, Israel has been warned by a succession of senior military  and administration officials not to attack Iran, at this time, all in the name  of giving sanctions a chance.  But who believes that sanctions will stop  Iran?  And who believes that that the U.S. will in the end attack Iran to  stop them?
So  while Obama is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, he is keeping Israel under his  thumb.
Isi  Leibler takes exception to all this and reminds everyone:

[T]his  organization [The Muslim Brotherhood]  represents one of the most fanatical  and dangerous of the radical Islamist groups in the region, with a dark record  of violence and terrorism imbedded in its DNA. It is rabidly anti-Western,  anti-Christian, antisemitic, committed to imposing sharia law and a global  Caliphate – and willing to employ any means to further its  objectives.

Many  would argue that Obama is also “anti-Western, anti-Christian[, and]  antisemitic.”  Judging by his policies, they would be  right.

More more more evidence every day:
Click on the link above to go to Pamela Geller!

The Alawites and the Future of Syria

October 12, 2012

Assad and the Alawites cannot give in. They are fighting for their very existence. The only way to end this civil war is to let them have control over their destiny — either as an autonomous region in Syria or as an independent entity.

The Alawites are a small, historically oppressed people, whose political future will determine whether Syria remains united in some form or disintegrates into even smaller ethnic and religious entities.
As they will play such an important role, America, Israel, and other forces interested in the future of Syria might do well to get to know them, their concerns, and how others can best come to terms with them.
Syria’s non-Sunnis have historically lived in apprehension of what the Sunnis might do to them. Although Arab Sunnis are the largest religio-ethnic group in Syria, non-Sunni Arabs make up upwards of 40% of the population. Historically, until the end of Ottoman rule after World War I, the Sunnis assumed they were the region’s natural rulers, and by and large controlled the destinies of the large numbers of non-Sunnis who lived among them. The non-Sunnis seem to have “known their place” in Syrian society – second class citizens. The Sunnis determined the rules.
In the 19th century, Western concepts of nationalism and equality for all people began to appear in the Middle East. The idea that everyone – irrespective of ethnicity or religion – is equal before the law has seemed anathema to the Sunnis: such an idea would contradict the basic Islamic principle that non-Muslims – known as dhimmis, or second-class, barely-tolerated citizens – could live in an Islamic society only if they accepted their place as unequal and unworthy of political and social equality. However, even though all Sunnis might consider themselves equal, in reality, clans, tribes, or ethnic identities, not to mention gender, usually prevail.
After World War I, when the French ruled Syria, they tried to introduce the concept of equality of all people before the law – a principle that never took root. During French rule, the people today known as Alawites – and who today rule Syria – begged the French to allow them to set up their own state in their ancient homeland along the Mediterranean coast between today’s Lebanon and Turkey. One of those who most passionately supported this option was the grandfather of the ruler of Syria today: Suleyman al-Assad.
This is because Syrian Sunnis have historically referred to individual Alawites as “abid” [slave], and treated the Alawites as such. The Alawites were servants in Sunni households. Alawite tradition is filled with horror stories of Sunni abuse, both working in Sunni households and in other areas of as well.
The Alawites, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, were terribly discriminated against under Sunni rule. The Sunnis attitude towards the Alawites – and towards the other non-Muslims – was “noblesse oblige,” or an attitude of condescension, if not outright hostility.
According to Alawite religious beliefs, the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law – Ali – was a deity. That a human could be a deity is anathema in Islam. Moreover, even though Christians are officially regarded as dhimmis, or second-class citizens, by the Muslims, many also refer to Christians as pagans: Christians deify Jesus who, in Muslim eyes, was a merely a prophet, born to a human mother and father.
Under the French and in the early years of Syrian independence after 1946, wealthy and respectable Sunnis did not want to have their sons serve in the military. Their Alawite servants, however, recognizing the military as a way to advance, persuaded their Sunni masters to sign recommendations to allow the children of their Alawite servants enter the military. Gradually, the Alawites rose in the ranks. Eventually in 1966, they overthrew the existing order to took over the country, and have dominated it since.
Many of these military officers, like their Christian counterparts, embraced Arab nationalism, perhaps hoping through nationalism to gain the equality that had eluded them in religion under the Sunni-dominated, society. These officers did their best to put their non-Sunni identities aside, and hoped – at times even demanded – that their Sunni fellow-Arabs do the same.
As the Alawites rose in the military, they also rose to senior positions in the Ba’ath Party, the basic tenant of which is militant Arab nationalism. But even as militant anti-Israeli Arab nationalists, these Alawites still feared that the majority-Sunnis would lie in wait, and pounce on the Alawites if the Alawites showed any weakness. The Alawites never allowed themselves forget that the Sunnis hated them; and that even though they controlled Syria, they had better come to an agreement with the leading Sunni families to provide them with stability and enable them to make money – in return for the Sunnis allowing the Alawites to control the country militarily and also make money.
During the so-called peace talks between Syria and Israel, the Alawites, according to their own admission, appointed Sunnis – and not Alawites – to negotiate with the Israelis – so that Alawites would not to be held responsible if any concessions were made to the Israelis. The Alawites were most likely concerned that if they had given in even ever so slightly to any Israeli requests, the Sunnis would have used that as an excuse to claim that the Alawites were not “true” Arabs.
Many Alawites have believed that the Arab-nationalist route of being accepted by the majority-Sunnis was doomed. According to discussions with people who have escaped Syria, as well as many still there, they feared, in their heart of hearts, that, just has the President Syrian President Assad’s grandfather had warned, whatever they did, the Sunnis would never accept them. For these Alawites, the only solution would be a separate Alawite state, or entity, where they could control their destiny and not be under the dreaded Sunni yoke.
Many Alawites, who, quietly, had long opposed Assad’s rule, are again, like Assad’s grandfather in the 1930’s, trying to put forward the idea of creating an independent Alawite state. Every day they can see around them that Middle Eastern culture places a high value on revenge, so that the Sunnis would never forgive them for having been ousted from power 46 years ago. The Alawites would be wise to fear that whatever happens in Syria, the Sunnis will massacre them for having governed Syria and for having killed so many Sunnis during the current war.
The concept of compromise simply does not exist in the Middle East – one either wins or loses. Compromise, because it invariably entails a partial loss, is evidently seen as bringing shame on oneself – to be avoided at all costs. Syria’s Alawite regime therefore probably sees no alternative other than to keep fighting the Sunni-dominated opposition – which itself is succumbing to Turkish, Saudi, and Qatari-inspired Islamic fundamentalist leadership – and to try to ethnically cleanse the Alawite areas of all Sunnis in the hope of retreating to that area with the help of outside allies – be they Iranians, Russians, or other non-Sunni Arabs in the area – and barricading themselves in against the Sunnis.
Consequently, it is hard to imagine any settlement in which Syria remains a centralized and unified state. One could imagine local autonomous regions, where the Alawites could finally control their own destiny. Maybe other groups – such as the non-Arab Kurdish Sunnis in the north – might also have their own entities to throw off the yoke of Arab rule. Whatever the eventual outcome, the Kurds know that their Sunni Arab neighbors, even though they all share the same faith, will never let bygones be bygones. Just as the Muslims in general are relentless in pursuing Israel, they would never accept any solution where they do not eventually take over the entire area.
Therefore, if there is ever to be some sort of peace-like arrangement – albeit temporary – in what is Syria today, there is no way that Syria can remain a centralized state, with new rulers, whoever they might be, who would continue to oppress other Syrians . Of all the ethnic and religious groups in Syria, the Alawites have the most to lose, which they undoubtedly know and which is why they must have control over their own destiny. They would have no alternative other than to remain well-armed; if not, the Sunnis would again take them over and subject them to the slave-like status they had in the past.
Assad, therefore, cannot give in. He and the Alawites – whether they support or oppose Assad – are fighting for their very existence. They only way to end this civil war is to let them have control over their destiny – either as an autonomous region in Syria, or as an independent entity. Whatever happens, they will insist that they remain well-armed. They – like other minorities in the Middle East – will continue to live in eternal fear of the Arab Sunnis. As the concept of overlooking past grievances is alien to the culture of that region, true peace between the Alawites and the Arab Sunnis – or, for that matter, Arab Sunnis and non-Arab Sunnis – is sadly out of the question.


More Hamas/Fatah Marriage woes

February 25, 2012

(Hamas ditches Assad, backs Syrian revolt | Fair Weather Friends Back the Winning Horse) Hezbollah loses Syria, gains Iraq, Obama and his Muslim Brotherhood get Syria… and the Jews get five rockets. @IDFSpokesperson: During the night a total of 5 rockets were launched from Gaza at southern Israel

(EOZ)From AFP:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his rival Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on Thursday postponed talks on forming a unified government, a Fatah official said, in a further delay to ending an almost five-year rift.
The official with the Abbas-led party said the talks were postponed “because Hamas continues to prevent the election committee from registering voters in Gaza,” the Islamist-ruled Palestinian territory.
He added that Hamas, which has been split internally on agreeing the unity government with the secular Fatah, has “not yet informed Abbas of its formal approval to end internal disputes on forming the government.”

Reuters reports it this way:

Hamas has set new terms for implementing a reconciliation deal with President Mahmoud Abbas’s rival Fatah group, an official said on Thursday.
Abbas and Khalid Mashaal, Hamas’s political chief in exile, agreed in Qatar earlier this month to form a unity government led by the Western-backed president.
But in a rift with the Islamist group’s leadership outside the Gaza Strip, officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave swiftly criticized the accord, particularly its call for Abbas to serve as prime minister as well as president.
At an internal meeting chaired by Mashaal in Cairo on Wednesday, Hamas officials united behind new demands, said a Palestinian official involved in the talks. The terms seemed certain to be rejected by Abbas.
“Hamas demanded to keep the key ministries in the new government, including the ministry of interior,” said the official. “It also demanded no change in the structure of security services in the Gaza Strip.”
The interior ministry oversees the Hamas-run security services, and Palestinian political analyst Samir Awad said the new terms proved the group “was not prepared to abandon control of Gaza”, territory it seized from Fatah in fighting in 2007.
Abbas has been seeking a unity government staffed by independents and technocrats to ensure it would not be boycotted by the West, which donates essential funds to his Palestinian Authority and refuses to deal with Hamas.
Other demands that emerged from the Cairo meeting included naming a Gaza-based deputy to Abbas and making his appointment as prime minister conditional on a vote of confidence in the Palestinian parliament.

Meanwhile, Hamas is again accusing Fatah of arresting its members in the West Bank – the one basic issue that was supposed to be resolved since May.
They are also squabbling over the Gaza power plant issue, as Hamas has bypassed the PA in order to try to secure a deal with Egypt to get a supply of cheap diesel, with Haniyeh effectively acting as if he is the head of government – after supposedly agreeing to Abbas being prime minister.
They agree on one thing, though: stopping any chance of a “Palestinian spring” against their respective leaders. They’ll plan meeting after meeting and photo-ops galore for the next decade to try to fool their people that they actually care about them rather than their own hold on power, which is what prompted this whole “unity” farce to begin with.


Hamas ditches Assad, backs Syrian revolt | Fair Weather Friends Back the Winning Horse

February 24, 2012
(Reuters)

Shi’ite Hezbollah still supports the Assad family, from the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, which has maintained authoritarian rule over Syria’s Sunni majority for four decades but now may have its back to the wall.

Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas turned publicly against their long-time ally President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Friday, endorsing the revolt aimed at overthrowing his dynastic rule.
The policy shift deprives Assad of one of his few remaining Sunni Muslim supporters in the Arab world and deepens his international isolation. It was announced in Hamas speeches at Friday prayers in Cairo and a rally in the Gaza Strip.
Hamas went public after nearly a year of equivocating as Assad’s army, largely led by fellow members of the president’s Alawite sect, has crushed mainly Sunni protesters and rebels.
In a Middle East split along sectarian lines between Shi’ite and Sunni Islam, the public abandonment of Assad casts immediate questions over Hamas’s future ties with its principal backer Iran, which has stuck by its ally Assad, as well as with Iran’s fellow Shi’ite allies in Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.
“I salute all the nations of the Arab Spring and I salute the heroic people of Syria who are striving for freedom, democracy and reform,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, visiting Egypt from the Gaza Strip, told thousands of Friday worshippers at Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque
. more

This is what the Arabs did during WWII with the Nazis. Most of them were allied with Hitler till it became clear he was a loser. Our CIA then covered all those Nazi henchmen up and gave them states.


Israel prepares for Syria refugees after Bashar al-Assad’s predicted fall | News | National Post

February 24, 2012

Media_httpnationalpos_yapmh(Taking Damascus, One, Two, Three | Advancing a Free Society) Saudi Arabia and Qatar—the two Wahhabi states that are vying with each other for prominence among burgeoning Sunni Arab fundamentalist movements—appear ready to deliver weaponry to the Syrian opposition. They both know how devastating to Shiite Iran the loss of Syria will be. The Turkish-Syrian border is porous. Masoud Barzani, the Kurdish chief of western Iraqi Kurdistan, has already signaled that he’s willing to help his rebellious Kurdish cousins in neighboring Syria.

(National Post)Israel is making preparations for the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a flood of refugees from his minority Alawite sect into the Golan Heights, Israel’s military chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.(MORE)

Huh? What? These guys been trying to kill you for years… and you want to bring them into your home? This is stupid. I’m hoping it is just a public relations stunt, but the world will hold Israel accountable for it’s false claims if it is bullshit. I’m not sure why Israel needed to have it’s own state if every time there is a minority bullied in the Arab world… Israel brings home the losing party. Why is Israel responsible for the Alawite? Their allies are the Iranians. Let A’jad take them in.


Qatar’s Sunni Side

October 27, 2011

(Crethi Plethi)How could Qatar’s foreign policy best be defined during the Arab Spring? In the midst of the conflict between Gaddafi’s forces and the rebels in the Libyan civil war, Qatar was hailed by Barack Obama in April for building a broad coalition of international support for the NATO campaign against Gaddafi. Obama also hailed the emir of Qatar for supposedly being a pragmatic mediator and negotiator in the wider region.Indeed, as the Guardian puts it, the country has a reputation for “a cautious but active foreign policy.” Other analysts have seen Qatar as a nation playing both sides in the Middle Eastern Cold War between the Saudi-led “status-quo bloc” and the Iranian-led “resistance” bloc.
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.


what would you do about Syria? overthrow it and put what in power? don’t get pissed. I’m open for discussion.

July 17, 2011