How Qatar threat­ens peace

Pro­vid­ing a safe haven for ter­ror­ists de­serves con­dem­na­tion from its neigh­bors

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By Khal­ifa A. Al­fad­hel Khal­ifa A. Al­fad­hel is a Bahraini lawyer and hu­man rights de­fender. He is a board mem­ber in the Bahrain In­sti­tute for Po­lit­i­cal De­vel­op­ment and the Bahrain Cen­ter for Strate­gic, In­ter­na­tional and En­ergy Stud­ies.

Qatar, a small oil- and gas-rich na­tion in the Ara­bian Penin­sula, has been boy­cotted by its neigh­bors, Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Bahrain and Egypt. Other na­tions, in­clud­ing Libya, Mal­dives, Mau­ri­ta­nia, Jor­dan, Dji­bouti and Sene­gal, also have com­menced se­vere diplo­matic mea­sures against Qatar. This le­gion of gov­ern­ments ac­cuses Qatar of spon­sor­ing ter­ror­ism di­rectly and through sup­port for key in­ter­na­tional ter­ror groups, in­clud­ing al Qaeda, ISIS, the Mus­lim Brother­hood, Ha­mas, Is­lamist mili­tias in Libya and Shi­ite groups in Bahrain and Iraq. The facts aren’t in dis­pute. Qatar is a safe haven for a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ists, such as rad­i­cal Qatari-Egyp­tian preacher Yusuf al-Qarad­hawi, Qatari al Qaeda fi­nancers Ab­du­laziz bin al-At­tiyah and Ab­dul Rah­man al-Noaimi, and Ab­dul­lah bin Khalid al-Thani, a Qatari royal and for­mer in­te­rior min­is­ter who hosted and fi­nanced the mas­ter­mind of the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks, Khalid Sheikh Mo­hammed and other Arab ter­ror­ists.

Qatar’s role in the Arab Spring sev­eral years ago was aimed at desta­bi­liz­ing sov­er­eign gov­ern­ments in the re­gion while bol­ster­ing ter­ror groups that threat­ened them. Qatar is no model of democ­racy or moder­nity. Nei­ther is its hu­man rights record. It doesn’t have an elected leg­is­la­ture. It fi­nances en­e­mies of the state in Bahrain (Al-We­faq), in Egypt (the Mus­lim Brother­hood) as well as scores of rad­i­cal Is­lamist mil­i­tant groups in Libya and Syria.

Qatar is also in­fa­mous for its back­ing of Ha­mas, which has been de­clared by many West­ern na­tions as an en­emy of in­ter­na­tional peace in the re­gion. Sup­port­ing ter­ror groups is one thing, but help­ing them to at­tain power in a frag­ile re­gion — such as the case of the Mus­lim Brother­hood and Ha­mas — is a dif­fer­ent and dan­ger­ous mat­ter. Thou­sands have died in the re­gion be­cause of the rise of in­tol­er­ant po­lit­i­cal Is­lam and tens of thou­sands of refugees have fled to Europe due to the power vac­uum in Libya that was caused by the rise of Qatar-backed ex­trem­ists there. Many more peo­ple will lose their lives un­less the com­mu­nity of na­tions acts against the ag­gres­sion of Qatar. Af­ter the hor­rific at­tacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the whole world, in­clud­ing Mus­lim na­tions, were in shock and were de­ter­mined to fight back against the evil forces be­hind them. The United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil acted like a world leg­is­la­ture, unan­i­mously adopt­ing Res­o­lu­tion 1373, which ob­li­gated na­tions to push back against the forces that threat­ened world peace and se­cu­rity.

The res­o­lu­tion af­firmed that all states should re­nounce fun­ders of ter­ror­ist acts, deny safe havens for ter­ror­ist groups and pre­vent them from us­ing their ter­ri­to­ries as stag­ing grounds to hurt in­no­cent peo­ple. Qatar is sub­ject to this man­date along with every other na­tion and it should be held ac­count­able for vi­o­lat­ing the res­o­lu­tion’s stric­tures. The Se­cu­rity Coun­cil is well within its rights to sanc­tion Qatar for be­ing what amounts to a di­rect threat to in­ter­na­tional peace and se­cu­rity.

If the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity does not take ac­tion against Qatar under the aus­pices of the United Na­tions, Qatar will con­tinue to be a threat to in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity and will even­tu­ally be­come the new­est mem­ber in the Axis of Evil. The United States should con­tinue to sup­port diplo­matic and other penal­ties against Qatar. It should also en­cour­age the United Na­tions to do what­ever it can to prod Qatar to re­join the fam­ily of na­tions.

The United States should con­tinue to sup­port diplo­matic and other penal­ties against Qatar.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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