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How the Muslim Brotherhood manipulated the Qatari regime

Organisation has become a dominant force in Qatar to the extent that it could easily replace the Emir

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The ideology of Muslim Brotherhood, designated as a terrorist group in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, flows in the blood of the Qatari regime, analysts say.

“For six decades, the Muslim Brotherhood has been working to control the decision making process in Qatar, through education, Islamic endowments and charities and the media,” Dr Abdullah Mohammad Al Shaiba, a leading Emirati analyst, told Gulf News.

Dr Al Shaiba added the terrorist group has managed to rule Qatar through spreading its ideology — affecting change in the beliefs and way of thinking of Qataris and now at least half of the Qatari leaders are members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“For decades, Qatari children have been taught curricula developed by the Muslim Brotherhood and since 1996 Qatari citizens have been brainwashed round the clock to change their beliefs and thoughts in line with the terrorist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Dr Al Shaiba said.

About 60 years ago, Qatar’s rulers turned to Abdul Badi Saqr, an Egyptian Islamist and a former student of the Brotherhood founder, Hassan Al Banna, to help run its educational institutions.

In the subsequent years, Qatari officials recruited an influx of Islamist teachers from Egypt.

Dr Al Shaiba said unlike the failed power grab of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere, the terrorist group has succeeded in setting up the State of Qatar’s Brotherhood, without openly assuming power in Doha.

“In 1999, the terrorist group dissolved its chapter in Qatar set up in 1974 because it no longer needed it and the state’s institutions headed by members of the Brotherhood had become more than enough to achieve the terrorist group’s goals,” Dr Al Shaiba said.

Dr Al Shaiba warned that the Muslim Brotherhood might soon topple Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani and appoint another member of the ruling family who is closer to the organisation.

Most members of the terrorist movement are recruited during high school or college years and, in many cases, serve in top administrative positions within the Brotherhood’s nationwide structure before being promoted to the Guidance Office, the organisation’s top executive authority.

They also could be nominated for political office to ensure leaders have all been vetted over the course of decades in their willingness to comply with the internal Shura committee’s decisions.

Tharwat Al Kherbawi, a lawyer who has written memoirs exposing the secrets of the Brotherhood after he left the terrorist movement, said Qatar’s Father Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and the present Emir Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani were schooled on the group’s terrorist ideology by Yousuf Al Qaradawi and Abdul Halim Abu Shoqqa, chief figures of the organisation.

Abu Shoqqa, an educator who arrived in Qatar in 1995, spearheaded the shift in Brotherhood strategy to focus its efforts on education rather than political activity.

He lived and worked as a teacher and headmaster for 12 years.

Al Qaradawi moved to Qatar in 1961 to head the Qatari Secondary School Institute of Religions, before becoming a dean at Qatar University.

He founded the Faculty of Islamic Law at Qatar University in the 1970s, and then went on to become the linchpin for the Qatari ruling family’s designs to disseminate the Brotherhood project throughout the Middle East and North Africa and in Europe, especially from the early 1990s.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is the DNA (genetic information and hereditary characteristics) of Qatar,” Christian Chesnot, a French journalist, and co-author of a book titled ‘Qatar, les Secrets du Coffre-fort’ (Qatar and the secrets of the Safe) recently told Dubai TV.

“Al Qaradawi shaped the Qatari psyche to believe that the Brotherhood is the future of the Arab world,” he said.

“This is why the Qataris supported the Muslim Brotherhood during the so-called Arab Spring movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya,” he said.

“Red lines were crossed in Syria, where the Qataris funded Al Nusra Front and other terrorist groups, and in Libya, where they financed and armed terrorist organisations such as Benghazi Defence Brigades and Al Qaida,” Chesnot said.

Dr Mohammad Bin Howaidin, a leading Emirati political analyst, said Doha does not view the Muslim Brotherhood as a danger to Qatar.

“The Muslim Brotherhood is a bargaining chip used by Qatar in its competition with regional powers such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Dr Bin Howadin said.

However, the Brotherhood, he said, will not serve Qatar’s strategic goals in the long run as the group aims to create and rule a worldwide Islamic empire which they call a Caliphate,” Dr Bin Howaidin said.

Dr Tarek Dahroug, a leading Egyptian analyst, said the Muslim Brotherhood has used Qatar as a launch pad into Europe in recent decades. “The Qatari regime, which subscribes to the Wahhabi theological and political creed, first turned to Muslim Brotherhood figures as a way of freeing itself from the decades-long religious and cultural hegemony of Saudi Arabia, bringing in Brotherhood teachers and religious scholars to serve as teachers and imams in mosques and the Qatari Ministry of Education,” Dr Dahrouq said.

Dr Dahroug added Qatar hoped to achieve various goals in the process, including substituting the Saudi ruling structure with that of the Muslim Brotherhood, which it was hoped would be more controllable and whose influence inside Qatar would be easier to contain over the shorter and longer terms.

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