First Published: 2011-12-18

 

Qatar embraces Wahhabism to strengthen regional influence

 

Qatari Emir inaugurates ‘Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab’ Mosque in Doha, vows to spread ‘teachings of Islam in whole world’.

 

Middle East Online

One stone, flock of birds

DOHA - Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani inaugurated on Friday the “Imam Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab” Mosque in Doha.

During the opening, Sheikh Hamad reaffirmed his commitment to spare no efforts to carry the message and spread the teachings of Islam in the whole world, noting that the Muslim nation is now in need of renewal and inspiration of the experience of Wahhab’s da’wah (call) while keeping pace with the era and its developments.

The inauguration started with a recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’an followed by the screening of a documentary on the mosque.

Ibn Abdul Wahab (1703-1792) preached a return to "pure Islam" and called for purging Islam of what he considered "impurities and negative innovations."

In his teachings, he urged Muslims to uphold only "the original principles of Islam as typified by the Salaf" and to reject "corruptions introduced by bidah (negative innovations and heresy). The scholar emphasized that there could be no intercession between God and worshippers.

Located in the Jubailat district of Doha the newly-built State Mosque will be formally opened for prayers on Friday.

Situated on the northern side in the central part of Doha city, it overlooks the Qatar Sports Club.

The mosque covers a total area of 175,164 sq.m. As many as 11,000 men can offer prayers in the air-conditioned central hall of the mosque and the adjacent special enclosure is spacious enough for 1200 women.

Ideologically, in recent years Qatar, which like Saudi Arabia is Wahhabi, has assisted Islamic movements in the Arab world.

Islamists, of course, have proved to be major players so far, and with influential clerics such as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi theologising for years on al-Jazeera's screens, Qatar has since long had a direct channel to most Islamist parties in the region.

Rather than imposing an Islamist agenda on the region, as some have accused it, Qatar is taking advantage of the clout it has built with them over the years to position itself as a leading interlocutor.

Equally at ease with Islamist and secular parties, with liberals and conservatives, Qatar is reaping what it sowed and patiently nurtured years ago, giving it enough political capital on top of its formidable wealth to influence the region.

 

IS bid to seize Kobane stalls amid air strikes

Six Tunisians killed in police-gunmen standoff

Iraq MPs divide over Kurds deployment to aid Kobane

Suspicious envelopes to consulates in Istanbul prompt alert

Morocco fossils: A rare and vanishing treasure

Germany offers to help Armenia forge peace with Turkey

Libya wakes up from ‘Dubai dream’ to face Somalia-like ‘failed state’

South Yemen separatists vow to intensify secession protests

Relatives of Iraq massacre victims: Blackwater guards should be killed

Ghannouchi makes it clear to Tunisia: It’s either political Islam or Daesh!

Deadly clashes erupt after army raid in northern Lebanon

200 Iraqi Kurd fighters to travel through Turkey to Kobane

Coalition strikes in Syria eliminate more than 500 jihadists in one month

Ahead of elections, new clashes remind Tunisia of need to fight terror

Saudi Arabia jails mothers for preparing sons to wage jihad

Jury finds Blackwater guards guilty of 2007 'massacre' in Iraq

Iraq Kurds approve reinforcements for Kobane

Israel classifies car crash as ‘hit and run terror attack’

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane