ORBAN THIERRY VIA IVT
As the so-called “siege of Qatar” by Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries intensifies, major global figures are taking a hard look as to why this whole fiasco occurred in the first place and many opinions on this issue are dividing the world. Even the country where I come from, the United States of America, is visibly torn on the diplomatic crisis.
Let us consider one of the charges that the Saudis have accused the Qataris of committing: donating large amounts of money to fund Islamic extremist groups like The Muslim Brotherhood. Just a few days ago, President Donald Trump praised Saudi Arabia for their inflammatory accusations, saying that Qatar has “historically been a funder of terrorism at every level.” However, just hours ago, it was revealed that former US Attorney General John Ashcroft had been hired by the Qataris to clear their government of these claims that they consider to be totally baseless. While all of this invective being hurled from both sides would be very interesting to analyze, my main point in writing today is to show that even if Qatar gave a single penny to any terrorist group, Saudi Arabia definitely should not be claiming moral superiority for this action since they themselves have been very generous to Jihadist groups in the past.
To begin, according to a recent issue of Charged Affairs, the Saudi government has spent billions of dollars trying to spread Wahhabism, a dangerously radical, ultra-orthodox branch of Islam that is held in high regard by terrorist organizations like the Taliban, around the globe. To this end, it has created financial links to Islamist organizations in Syria (ISIS), Pakistan (Lashkar E-Taiba), Afghanistan (Taliban), along with numerous other countries. Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State in 2009 even went so far as to say that “Saudi Arabia is the most significant source of funding for Sunni terrorist groups worldwide!” In light of all of this information, who on Earth can say that Saudi Arabia has the justification to destroy diplomatic relations in the Arab World over an issue that they themselves are the largest perpetrators of? The most damning evidence of Qatar’s involvement in terrorism that I can dig up is that in 2014, United States Intelligence found two wanted Al-Qaeda associates living freely on Qatari soil despite Qatar’s promise that it does not condone terrorism against allies like the US. While this is certainly a diplomatic quagmire, it does not come close to what Saudi Arabia has done to make terrorism a global threat.
Saudi Arabia accusing Qatar of supporting Islamic terrorism, one of the main reasons behind the “siege of Qatar,” has no legitimacy and the Saudis should drop their case before the rest of the world figures this out, because if not, the already-depleted global confidence in Saudi Arabia will sink to record lows.