RECOMMENDED READING: “Qatar’s Ties with the Muslim Brotherhood Affect Entire Region”


A Gulf newspaper has posted an article by academic Dr. Ahmad Jamil Azem titled “Qatar’s Ties with the Muslim Brotherhood Affect Entire Region” which reveals among other things that the son-in-law of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi has been involved in the Egyptian revolution. The article in the UAE-based The National begins:

The alliance between the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar is becoming a noticeable factor in the reshaping of the Middle East. There are several striking aspects to this evolving and deepening relationship. First, note that the Brotherhood is barely involved in Qatari domestic affairs. The arrangement is akin to the one between Qatar and Al Jazeera, the biggest Arab television channel, which is based in Doha. The station covers news throughout the Arab world but refrains from covering controversial events in Qatar. As a formal organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar dissolved itself in 1999. Jasim Sultan – a former member of the Qatari Brotherhood – has explained in a television interview that this decision was justified because the state was carrying out its religious duties. Mr Sultan supervises the Al Nahdah (Awakening) Project, which involves training, publishing and lecturing about public activism. Last August, he wrote an article asking Egyptian Islamists to change their discourse and move towards ‘partnership thought’ instead of concentrating on ‘infiltrating the society to control it’. Mr Sultan is active in training Islamists in Egypt and other countries on how to function within the institutions of democracy. The second point of interest about Qatar and the Brotherhood is that the relationship was formed and is maintained largely through personal ties, which play a vital role. Doha has hosted individual activists, providing them with refuge and employment. Yusif Al Qaradawi, a Qatari national and resident of Egyptian origin, is a good example. He is the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and his television programme on Islamic laws and principles has made him a star on Al Jazeera. His current relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood is not clear, but he has been a leading member, and is highly respected by its members around the world. One striking example of his influence is a recent photograph of him with Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minster of Hamas in Gaza. (Hamas is an arm of the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood.) In the image, Mr Haniyeh, during a recent visit to Qatar, is bowing and kissing Mr Al Qaradawi’s hand in a show of respect. To better understand the role of Qatari-Islamist harmony in the Arab revolutions, consider the Academy of Change, headed by Hisham Mursi, an Egyptian paediatrician and British national living in Doha. News reports identify him as the son-in-law of Mr Al Qaradawi. Mr Mursi has been active in Egypt’s revolution from the very beginning. When he was arrested in the early days of the protests, Muslim Brotherhood websites campaigned for his release. His organisation takes a special interest in non-violent protest tactics; he has written manuals on the subject. He acknowledges, on the Academy of Change’s website, that he benefits from the cooperation of Mr Sultan.

Read the rest here.

post from March reported that the Deputy Chairman of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood was visiting Qatar for meetings with Qatari official. An earlier post discussed the relocation of Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal from Syria to Qatar in yet another sign of the country growing importance as a center of the Global Muslim Brotherhood. A series of recent and important Global Muslim Brotherhood events have been held in Qatar illustrating the increasing importance of the country to the  Global Brotherhood.

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