Gulf cri­sis and me­dia

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL - By Muna Al-Fuzai muna@kuwait­

The Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil (GCC) has been con­fronting a se­ri­ous diplo­matic cri­sis since the past three weeks, which may have im­pli­ca­tions on the fu­ture of the re­gion and the world if not con­tained and dealt with firm­ness, trans­parency and diplo­matic ne­go­ti­a­tions. The ques­tion that arises is over the role of the me­dia in this cri­sis and if there is a way out. De­spite the am­bi­gu­ity of the cri­sis, I be­lieve a solution is not hope­less or im­pos­si­ble. These are the rea­sons.

With the emer­gence of the Gulf cri­sis be­tween Saudi Ara­bia, UAE and Bahrain with Qatar, there was great fear from Mus­lim Brother­hood groups all over the world. Their news chan­nels and al­lies at­tacked Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE. So­cial me­dia was filled with heated de­bate, videos, ar­ti­cles, tweets and re­li­gious What­sApp mes­sages show­ing the sit­u­a­tion as a bomb that is about to ex­plode.

There have been some dan­ger­ous tweets from peo­ple who poured more oil on fire while they don’t know any­thing about the supreme in­ter­est of the states, for the sake of ma­te­rial gains and a lit­tle fame. They have made the sit­u­a­tion worse. Saudi Ara­bia and the UAE did well when they banned such ig­no­rant state­ments. Be­cause of the dam­age to the supreme in­ter­ests of the state, na­tional unity and so­cial peace, these prac­tices have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the so­ci­ety and its unity. I am in fa­vor of such firm pro­ce­dures.

Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies pre­sented a list of 13 de­mands to Qatar last week through Kuwait, such as end­ing re­la­tions with the Mus­lim Brother­hood, Hezbol­lah, Al-Qaeda and Is­lamic State. These de­mands do not seem to be im­pos­si­ble if there is a gen­uine de­sire to main­tain the se­cu­rity and strength of all Gulf states in front of en­e­mies at home and abroad.

It is re­gret­table that the Mus­lim Brother­hood, their al­lies and the en­e­mies of Gulf coun­tries of dif­fer­ent sects want to present the cri­sis to the world like it’s a war against Qatar. For ex­am­ple, the me­dia has used the term ‘siege’ in­stead of ‘tem­po­rary boy­cott’. This is a de­lib­er­ate ex­ag­ger­a­tion. It is not about Qatar or its fu­ture, or about the in­ter­ests of Gulf coun­tries, but per­sonal in­ter­ests, which have noth­ing to do with love for Qatar or con­cern for its in­ter­ests. I can­not find a voice from these groups that calls for re­form and unity and not di­vi­sion, and looks for what brings us to­gether and not what sep­a­rates us.

The Mus­lim Brother­hood around the world feels the dan­ger im­ping­ing on them and is there­fore shout­ing and yelling be­cause its in­ter­ests are at stake. Its sup­port­ers stand be­hind the evils of the world, the most im­por­tant of which is ter­ror­ism. These ex­trem­ist groups have mul­ti­ple me­dia out­lets and it is es­sen­tial to have a clear stand with a strong coun­ter­force.

Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid has writ­ten a poem ask­ing Qatar to ac­cept the de­mands of neigh­bor­ing Gulf Arab states as the dead­line nears. Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid AlMak­toum, also Vice-Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter of UAE, called on Qatar to aban­don its cur­rent pol­icy, re­fer­ring to re­la­tions be­tween Qatar and Iran. The poem was pub­lished on In­sta­gram and thou­sands of peo­ple ex­pressed their ad­mi­ra­tion for it. It is a clear me­dia move and whether it has an im­me­di­ate re­sult or not, it is the dili­gent work of a pa­tri­otic man and I wish more peo­ple, es­pe­cially writ­ers and jour­nal­ists in the Arab world, act with such courage. Sa­lute to the ruler of Dubai!

Is­lam is not exclusive or lim­ited to these groups and oth­ers. Is­lam is a faith that will re­main as long as Al­lah wants it to be on earth and will not end with the end of these groups. Ex­trem­ism is not con­fined to a group that is mak­ing spilling of Mus­lim blood per­mis­si­ble and vi­o­lat­ing it. The me­dia too should not be a means to hide the truth, and it must have a clear and just stand.

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