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

 

UN council votes to bring back full Western Sahara mission

UN rights chief calls Syrian crisis 'shameful realpolitik'

Air strike hits clinic in rebel-held Aleppo

South Sudan unveils unity government

Aleppo mourns paediatrician killed in air strike

US, Russia 'agree freeze' on two Syrian fronts

Libya unity government vows to end jihadist 'scourge'

Turkey demands 5 years jail for UK academic over 'terror propaganda'

UK pair accused of giving money to Brussels, Paris attacks suspect

Turkey says Bursa bomber linked to PKK

Kuwait steps up deportations of expat workers

Iranians vote in second round of parliamentary elections

Palestinians support, Israel opposes French peace initiative

Biden in surprise Iraq visit to support embattled government

MSF condemns strike on Aleppo hospital

Lifeline to millions in Syria 'may be broken' as violence intensifies

Turkish journalists get two years for publishing Charlie Hebdo cartoon

Greece making 'incredible effort' to tackle migration issue

Iraq shuts Al-Jazeera bureau for 'instigating violence and sectarianism'

Syria regime readies for major Aleppo offensive

Israel nuclear reactor defects spark secrecy dilemma

Suicide bomber targets Aden police chief

Death toll in Syria's Aleppo rises despite UN truce plea

Italy to introduce migrant fingerprinting at sea

UN envoy plans to hold another round of Syria peace talks

US proposes full restoration of Western Sahara mission

27 Yemeni soldiers dead in key offensive

Global press freedom drops to lowest level in 12 years

Constitutional amendment grants Jordan king more powers

Suicide bomber blows herself up in Turkey northwestern city

Austria adopts one of EU's toughest asylum laws

Netherlands warns no safety 'guarantees' for visitors to Turkey

Battered Aleppo residents ask: Where is Syria ceasefire?

Libya kidnappers release Serbian worker

Sinai bombing kills three Egypt policemen

UAE considers tough safety code after skyscraper fires

UNESCO says Palmyra retains 'authenticity' despite damage

Khamenei says US 'fomenting Iranophobia'

Russia applauds cooperation with US on Syria

Etihad Airways sees $103 million profit in 2015

Russia asks UN to list Syria rebel group as 'terrorist'

2 Palestinians shot dead at checkpoint

Turkey PM pledges draft constitution will guarantee secularism

Greece returns 49 migrants to Turkey

Nearly quarter of Iran's parliament seats at stake in election run-off