Qatar Relocates Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Leaders; What Does It Really Mean?


Global media is widely reporting on the announcement by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that a number of its leaders have been asked by Qatar to leave the country. According to a New York Times report:

Qatar Flag
Qatar Flag

September 13, 2014 BAGHDAD — An Egyptian leader of the Muslim Brotherhood said Saturday that several of the group’s prominent members had been asked to leave Qatar, in an apparent concession to a campaign by other Persian Gulf monarchies to pressure Qatar away from its support for the group.

“Some symbols of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing — the Freedom and Justice Party — who were asked by authorities to move their residence outside the state of Qatar have now honored that request,” the Egyptian, Amr Darrag, a senior Brotherhood leader, said in a statement posted on the group’s website.

A Qatari diplomat contradicted Mr. Darrag, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The diplomat said that the Brotherhood leaders had decided to depart for their own reasons without any request from Qatar, and that they were welcome to return.

“Maybe for some of them, they saw from the media that the country is being pressed and they left of their own free will because they did not want to put the country in an embarrassing situation,” the diplomat said.

Read the rest here.

Various sources are also reporting that Egypt has asked INTERPOL to arrest Muslim Brotherhood figures leaving Qatar.

According to a report in the Middle East Monitor, itself close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, among the individuals to be leaving include the notorious anti-Semitic cleric Wagdi Ghoneim:

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the people to be expelled are: the Secretary General of the Brotherhood, Mahmoud Hussein, member of Freedom and Justice party Amro Darraj, Hamza Zoba, Ashraf Badriddin, Jamal Abdul-Sattar and the renowned preachers Isam Talima and Wajdi Ghoneem.

The GMBDW had reported in September 2013 that Ghoneim was among fourteen defendants charged by Egyptian authorities in connection with clashes that took place last December in front of Al-Itihidaya presidential palace in Cairo. In April, we reported that he had met in Khartoum with Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood figure Hassan al-Turabi. For a full profile of Wagdi Ghoneim, go here.

Despite the interpretation in the major media that the seeming expulsion of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders is a watershed event that may satisfy Qatar’s neighbors, the GMBDW has serious doubts. Qatar is a major sponsor of the Global Muslim Brotherhood networks though its official and quasi-official organizations such as Qatar Charity, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies, and the Qatar Foundation. Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal are also hosted and resident in Qatar which itself is a major funder of Hamas. The GMBDW reported in late August that the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), a Turkish group close to the Global Muslim Brotherhood, has signed a ‘strategic cooperation agreement’ with Qatar. Earlier this month, we reported that Qatar Charity had sponsored a conference in Istanbul at which GMB leaders announced a $1 billion fundraising campaign for Gaza and the launch of a new organization appearing to unify Hamas fundraising and flotilla efforts. The relocation of a group of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders and clerics, while clearly a token gesture, does nothing at all to dismantle the significant and growing infrastructure located in Qatar propping up the Global Muslim Brotherhood.

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