The U.S. is looking positively upon how our “ally,” Qatar, is taking a more pro-active role in the region. It was the first Arab country to dedicate its military to overthrowing Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Now, it’s taking the lead in Syria by helping arm the rebels so the U.S. can stay by the sidelines. But, our shortsightedness has long-term consequences.
Recently, a group called the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) raised about $6.5 million in Qatar. The group is led by Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, a top Muslim Brotherhood cleric who calls himself the “Mufti of Martyrdom Operations.” He never shies from supporting Hamas and suicide bombings and got into a bit of hot water in 2009 when he said that the Holocaust was a judgment upon the Jews from Allah. He prays that the Muslims will deliver the next judgment. In November, the IUMSdeclared that Muslims must “revive the duty of jihadin all its forms” and prepare for the destruction of Israel.
Not only was the fundraiser held in Qatar (which is also where Qaradawi lives and hosts a television show on Al-Jazeera), it was attended by Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. Another member of the ruling family, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al-Thani, donated about $1.4 million. The IUMS chose him as “Personality of the Year.”
Qatar has long supported the Brotherhood. In 1999, the Brotherhood even formally disbandedin the Qatar because it doesn’t view the ruling government as an adversary. Qatar now appears to be the biggest state sponsor of the Brotherhood, though Islamists in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the Gulf provide major support as well.