First Published: 2013-05-11


Qatar pays price for its generous support to Muslim Brotherhood


Protesters in Tunisia and Libya burn Qatari flag, condemn ‘blatant interference’ of Doha as part of ‘conspiratorial scheme for benefit of Israel, Western powers.’


Middle East Online

Will Doha get the message?

TUNIS, TRIPOLI – Angry Tunisian and Libyan protesters burned the Qatari flag in two simultaneous moves and without prior coordination.

Furious about the persistent interference of the Gulf state in the Arab countries’ affairs, the protesters condemned Doha’s foreign policy and accused its Emir of supporting religious parties to serve his country’s agenda, as part of a "conspiratorial scheme for the benefit of Israel and the international imperialist powers."

The Tunisian protesters in Gafsa burned the Qatari flag on Thursday during a demonstration organized by various political forces and civil society organizations to condemn the "Zionist attack on Syria" and show solidarity with the Syrian people.

The burning of the Qatari flag in Gafsa translates the resentment felt by the majority of Tunisians against the "blatant Qatari interference” in Tunisia’s internal affairs.

The protesters said that their country was renowned for its civilization and high position on the world map compared to the small Gulf Emirate, which claims the defence of freedom and democracy, while repressing its people, and silencing all dissident voices, even those of poets (in reference to the case of the Qatar 'anti-regime' poet Ibn al-Dhib).

Observers say that the State of Qatar, which claims that it has provided the peoples of the Arab Spring with a media platform "Al Jazeera" in a way that supported their demands and contributed to the pressure put on ousted regimes, has began to quickly lose popularity among the general public in all those countries.

According to observers, people in the Arab Spring countries have begun to realize that Qatar’s media and financial support is not above suspicion as the small Gulf Emirate is pursuing an agenda that serves its interest and those of Western allies while seeking to become a “regional power.”

In tandem with what happened in Gafsa, now a familiar scene in Tunisia, the Qatari flag and a doll intended to represent Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, were burned by demonstrators in Benghazi who accused the Emir of interfering in Libya’s internal affairs.

An estimated 500 protestors gathered outside the city’s Tibesti hotel late to vent their anger against the Gulf state, their opposition to militiamen who had been besieging the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice in Tripoli, and their support for the government of Prime Minister Ali Zeidan and the General National Congress.

Much of the opposition was directed at Qatar which protesters claimed was supporting Libyan Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood. Some protestors demanded that Qataris be prevented from buying any land in Libya.

A statement from the Qatar embassy in Tripoli, which vigorously denied Doha’s interference in Libya, failed to cut ice with protestors in Tobruk, where a Qatari flag was also burned.

Analysts believe that Qatar is trying to take advantage from a scenario repeated in both Tunisia and Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood, which was an active participant in revolutions, seized power.

Few weeks ago, Egyptian protesters burned the Qatari flag in front of Gulf state’s embassy in Mustafa Mahmoud Square, chanting "Down with the rule of the guide."

Protesters from different opposition parties and revolution groups shouted slogans to express their outrage about the Qatari government and the Zionist regime’s meddling in Egypt's internal affairs calling the Emir of Qatar an element of the US.

They objected to financial aids from Qatar because of Sheikh Khalifa Al Thani's close ties with the US and the Zionist regime which they feared would have undesired consequences for Egypt.

The protest was later joined by a few Sudanese who voiced their opposition to the Qatari emir’s interference in Sudan's internal affairs


Iran wants closure of nuclear probe in order to implement deal

Bashir takes another step on path of rapprochement with Gulf countries

Iran General ‘seriously wounded’ in rocket attack in Syria

Saudi women begin first-ever campaigns for public office

Iran bars orchestra performance over women musicians

Kuwait names new acting Oil Minister in cabinet reshuffle

Number of ISIS executions hits more than 3,500 in Syria alone

‘Russia’ air strikes kill at least 18 civilians in Ariha town in Syria

EU offers Turkey cash, closer ties at migration summit

Turkey seeks to ease tensions with Moscow

Turkey protests against journalist arrests

Corbyn criticised over Syria air strike rejection

Saudi women begin first-ever election campaign

Russia prepares retaliation against Turkey

Tunisia to rethink anti-IS strategy

Cameron pushes for Britain to join Syria air strikes

Erdogan denies buying oil from IS

Lavrov says no war with Turkey after 'planned provocation'

Tunisia under state of emergency

Missing Iranian diplomat found dead in Saudi

Heavy Russia raids at site of Syria plane crash

Tunisia declares state of emergency after terrorist attack in heart of capital

Bahrain calls HRW torture report 'misleading'

Syria, Russia foreign ministers set Moscow talks

Rival Libya tribes sign peace deal to end months of fighting

Turkey reveals new cabinet of Erdogan allies

Turkey downs Russia Su-24 fighter jet on Syria border

Hopes fade away as Sudan peace talks break without deal

At least 6 dead in Libya bomb attack

Somali pirates seize Iran fishing boat with 15 crew

ISIS suicide bombers kill four in assault on Sinai hotel

Kerry visits Israel with scant hopes for major breakthrough

Hollande heads to Washington to seek support for war on ISIS

Brussels extends terror alert as US issues worldwide travel warning

UAE blames Islamists for delay in military operation in Taez

Egypt kills 5 Sudanese migrants near border with Israel

Anti-Muslim hate crimes rise 300 percent in Britain

Russia eases restrictions on nuclear cooperation with Iran

Gulf leaders to hold annual summit on December 10

Ex-Gathafi Minister arrested over murder of UK policewoman

UK boosts military spending as pressure grows to join anti-ISIS strikes

Israel bars Palestinians from West Bank settlement bloc

Iraq suspends northern flights due to danger posed by Russia missiles

Syria army advances against ISIS in central province of Homs

Pro-Kurdish leader escapes assassination attempt in Turkey