Gulf crisis and media
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.