Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad has become the biggest backer of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist groups in the region. Then he stepped down to make way for his son, even though he’s only in his sixties. Now, if this report is accurate, his son is breaking ties with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Honestly I don’t know how to read this.
Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa second, the Emir of Qatar, on Tuesday evening, ordered Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to leave the country, and ordered the withdrawal of Qatari nationality of it, and the closure of all offices of the Muslim Brotherhood in order to conform to state policy of not choosing a faction or political trend.
Tamim confirmed, in an interview, we are all Muslims, but not the Muslim Brotherhood, and dealing with a diameter of State and Government and not with the political faction., Al-Nahar reported that Tamim gave Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, 48 hours to leave the country.
If this report is accurate, then Qatar just put its foot in the Muslim Brotherhood’s rear. Giving Meshaal 48 hours to leave the country and ordering Qaradawi out are particularly insulting acts.
Qatar has made itself very unpopular in Egypt and elsewhere by backing the Brotherhood. After the collapse of Morsi, they may be backpedaling. The revolution against Morsi had a loud anti-Qatari tenor and this may be an attempt at appeasement.
But Qatar wasn’t exactly worried about offending anyone when it took on Egypt, Libya and Syria. A retreat this major seems outsized. And was the premature succession a means of distancing Qatar from the Brotherhood?
A breach like this would almost suggest that Qatar caught the Brotherhood conspiring to take over, the way that the UAE did, but the timing is certainly odd.
Alliances in the Middle East are ridiculously fragile, so this isn’t completely unprecedented. Fast friends become bitter enemies in 5 seconds flat. Just look at Hamas and Assad.
Still Qatar went all in on this. It seems odd that they’re backing off just because Morsi fell. Not when they still expect to take Syria. And that raises the question of what this means for Syria.
The simplest explanation is that the report is still unconfirmed in the wider media and maybe none of it is true. But if it’s true, then this is a game changer.