When He Meets the Emir, Trump Should Demand That Qatar Drives Out the Muslim Brotherhood
“Drive them out!”
The speech President Trump gave to the assembled leaders of the Muslim world in Riyadh two years ago, was as necessary as it was inspirational. He challenged many of our allies in the Middle East to redouble their efforts at fighting jihadism in their own countries. He told them to more closely monitor some of the so-called “charities” they fund which are used for terror or indoctrination. He told them that they had more to risk in the battle with Islamic radicalism than anyone else—and that they’d better get started.
Some of our allies, especially Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, took the message to heart and began cracking down on Islamists who threaten the security of the Kingdom and countless lives in the West.
There was one leader in attendance, though, that smiled politely but never changed his behavior. Two years later, he and his royal family remain the most significant funder and promoter of the world’s most important anti-American jihadist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan.
This week, President Trump has the opportunity to challenge that man—the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani—and his nation’s behavior in person when he receives him at the White House.
Qatar produces a stream of relentless anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Trump rhetoric. It is a chronic abuser of human rights and religious freedom, running migrant labor camps that represent far more than half the nation’s population.
Most importantly, though, Qatar’s support for Sunni terror groups like Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood ensures that millions of Muslims around the world are brainwashed and pushed toward lives of radicalization, extremism, and jihadism.
What happened to “drive them out”?
Qatar claims to be a friend and an ally in our struggle against Islamic terrorism. When the Emir visits you at the White House—like he has every year—he will be all smiles.
In April 2018, the president and Emir al-Thani discussed “ways to further strengthen American-Qatari coordination on counterterrorism and counter-extremism.”
When he returns to Doha, though, he will continue pressing his lobbyists and his media outlets to attack the president, the United States, Jews and our allies in the region in the most disgusting of ways.
Like Qatar and its leaders themselves, the country’s state-run media outlet, Al Jazeera, has a history of engaging in double-speak. In Arabic, its programming is radical, anti-American and anti-Semitic.
To its English-speaking audience, however, Al Jazeera presents itself as an outlet on the political left, obsessed with issues like racism, social justice, climate change—and anything that would persuade Americans on the left to support its cause.
In response to recent outcry from the public and some Members of Congress, Al Jazeera has taken to find legal loopholes and concoct clever accounting schemes to convince lawmakers and the Justice Department that it is an independent media entity. That’s nonsense.
Based on its leadership and its messaging, Al Jazeera clearly is the propaganda arm of the Qatari royal family. The Islamist network and its new, youth-oriented outlet AJ+ have yet to register under our Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), despite ample evidence which indicates it is necessary for them to do so.
Some Republicans in Congress, notably Rep. Jack Bergman, have begun to press the Justice Department to force them to do so. Many in Congress, as well as some in the Trump administration, have been troubled by Al Jazeera’s relentless pro-Islamist programming, which isn’t conducive to peace in the Middle East.
“An open foe may prove a curse,” Benjamin Franklin cautioned, “but a pretended friend is worse.”
So long as Qatar continues to be rewarded without curbing its bad behavior, it will continue with its malign and malicious efforts in the region and on our very own soil at home in America, as it has through a vast and endless propaganda campaign to curry favor within this administration.
My friends, family and I in the Iranian-American community greatly appreciate Donald Trump’s toughness on Iran’s misbehavior, and his willingness to designate or sanction elements of the corrupt, evil regime and their Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorist entities.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a similar type of evil. It’s engaged in acts of actual terrorism—most recently in Egypt and in the Sinai—but it’s most destructive because it serves as a conveyor belt for radicalization.
The Brotherhood’s ideology had a crucial, formative influence on every Sunni Islamic terrorist and group, including ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri of al Qaeda.
There is nothing that would more effectively “drive them out” and drain the jihadist swamp than to have your Treasury Department or State Department designate elements of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
As its greatest patron, Qatar could distance itself from the Brotherhood, and the group would suffer greatly and gradually wither away. It has decided not to do so—the Islamist madrassas remain open, the jihadist literature keeps being pumped into Muslim communities, and international media networks like Al Jazeera continue to push anti-Americanism, rejection of peace and Holocaust denial.
We Americans are owed an explanation why.