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Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Overthrow of Morsi

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Youssef Al Qaradawi on Al Jazeera

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COMMENT: In past articles, we have noted the close relationship between the Al Jazeera network and the Muslim Brotherhood.  (The Brotherhood is an Islamic fascist organization allied with the Axis in World War II and nurtured in the postwar period by Western intelligence services and Persian Gulf oil kingdoms as anti-communist and anti-Israeli proxy warriors.)

Based in Qatar (which is utilizing I.G. Farben’s Fischer/Tropsch process), the network is growing in presence in the United States.

In addition to its purchase of Al Gore’s “Current TV” and resulting entry into the U.S. cable TV market, Al Jazeera has been broadcasting for some time on the Pacifica Radio network, which caters to the so-called progressive community.

(In past posts, we have noted that Al Jazeera/Muslim Brotherhood’s benighted presence in American media, along with that of Bertelsmann, corresponds to a tee to the Serpent’s Walk scenario we have discussed for many years.)

A gag order, Muslim Brotherhood style

One place where Al Jazeera’s influence is NOT waxing is Egypt.  (See text excerpts below.) In addition to the fact that many of their journalists have resigned in protest over the network’s blatant pro-Brotherhood bias, the Egyptian army has been arresting some of its staff in the crackdown on Morsi’s supporters.

In addition, Al Jazeera correspondents have been barred from news conferences by fellow journalists, because of the network’s pro-Brotherhood stance.

In an update, we note that the Egyptian government continues to be at loggerheads with the network.

 

“Al-Jazeera Egypt Staff Resign Over Orders To “Favor” The Muslim Brotherhood” by gmbwatch; Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch; 7/9/2013.

EXCERPT: Gulf media is reporting that 22 members of the Al-Jazeera Egyptian bureau have resigned in protest over what they say were instructions from the management to “favor the Muslim Brotherhood.” According to a Gulf News report: The news channel Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr saw 22 members of staff resign on Monday in Egypt over what they alleged was coverage that was out of sync with real events in Egypt.

Anchor Karem Mahmoud announced that the staff had resigned in protest against what he called ‘biased coverage’ of the events in Egypt by the Qatari broadcaster.

Mahmoud said that the resignations had been brought about by a perceived lack of commitment and Al Jazeera professionalism in media coverage, adding that ‘the management in Doha provokes sedition among the Egyptian people and has an agenda against Egypt and other Arab countries.’

Mahmoud added that the management used to instruct each staff member to favour the Muslim Brotherhood.

He said that ‘there are instructions to us to telecast certain news’.

Haggag Salama, a correspondent of the network in Luxor, had resigned on Sunday accusing it of ‘airing lies and misleading viewers’.

He announced his resignation in a phone-in interview with Dream 2 channel.

Meanwhile, four Egyptian members of editorial staff at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha resigned in protest against what they termed a ‘biased editorial policy’ pertaining to the events in Egypt, Ala’a Al Aioti, a news producer, told Gulf News by phone . . .

In 2009, Egyptian authorities were reported to be in the process of revoking Al-Jazeera’s license to broadcast and that the network was planning to close its bureau office in Cairo.

Leaked US State Department cables indicate that Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, operates as an arm of Qatari foreign policy which has recently been strongly supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the recently deposed Mohamed Morsi. . . .

RECOMMENDED READING: “Why Does Al Jazeera Love A Hateful Islamic Extremist?” by gmbwatch; Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch; 7/11/2013.

EXCERPT: Bloomberg columnist Jeffrey Goldberg has published an article titled “Why Does Al Jazeera Love a Hateful Islamic Extremist?” that summarizes recent developments adverse for Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. The article begins:

So, it hasn’t been the best week for Al Jazeera, the television network owned by Qatar’s despotic ruling family, for the same reason that it hasn’t been a great week for the despotic ruling family itself: the ouster of Egypt’s president, Mohamed Mursi, the bumpkin fundamentalist.

Qatar pumped a lot of money into Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood government, and for what? The Qatari royal family should sue the Brotherhood for malfeasance. So much hope was riding on Mursi’s experiment in political Islam. Although Qatar spreads risk around a bit — it has provided millions of dollars to Islamists in Syria and to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas (now there’s an investment in the future) — Mursi represented its main chance to advance the cause of Islamic fundamentalism.

And now, to add insult to financial injury, Saudi Arabia just promised post-Mursi Egypt $5 billion, and the United Arab Emirates, another of Qatar’s main rivals, has kicked in $3 billion.

As for Al Jazeera, which is scheduled to introduce its American network next month in place of Al Gore’s hapless Current TV, well, let’s put it this way: It will certainly be more popular among Americans than it is among Egyptians. Which isn’t saying much.

Journalists Protest

The millions of Egyptians who rose up against Mursi’s rule also aired their feelings about Al Jazeera’s breathless pro-Muslim Brotherhood coverage. The harsh criticism directed at the network prompted Egyptian reporters to expel Al Jazeera reporters from a recent news conference, and led several journalists to quit Al Jazeera’s Egypt operation, apparently to protest its obvious bias.

One of the correspondents who quit, Haggag Salama, accused his ex-bosses of ‘airing lies and misleading viewers.’ The journalist Abdel Latif el-Menawy is reported to have called Al Jazeera a ‘propaganda channel’ for the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s possible that some of the journalists who quit did so as a matter of self-preservation; the Egyptian military is behaving in predictably heavy-handed ways toward journalists it doesn’t like. But it’s also entirely plausible that they quit because they couldn’t abide Qatari government interference in their reporting. . . .

“RECOMMENDED READING: Al Jazeera Faces Criticism In Egypt Over Its Coverage Of Muslim Brotherhood”; Global Muslim Brotherhood Watch; 1/8/2013.

EXCERPT: The Washington Post has featured a story titled “Al Jazeera Faces Criticism In Egypt Over Its Coverage Of Muslim Brotherhood” which looks at criticism of Al Jazeera over its relationship to the Muslim Brotherhood. The story begins:

“Ever since the military’s ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi in July, Al Jazeera, the pioneering Arab-language news broadcaster, hasn’t shrunk from calling his removal something the American government won’t: a coup.
That highly loaded declaration, as well as its relentless and, critics say, sympathetic coverage of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood movement, has turned Al Jazeera into a virtual enemy of the state in Egypt. Its journalists have been harassed and banned, and five remain in custody, including three who were arrested last week for allegedly harming national security. Al Jazeera’s local TV studios in Egypt, though not its transnational satellite transmissions, have been shut down, forcing its few remaining Egyptian journalists to work from makeshift facilities, such as a Cairo hotel room. . . .
. . . . Since then, Egyptian authorities and Al Jazeera’s critics — including some of the network’s own employees — have accused it of being a mouthpiece for Morsi and the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Al Jazeera has given a lot support to the Muslim Brotherhood. There’s no doubt about that,’ said Hugh Miles, a freelance journalist in Cairo and the author of ‘Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That Is Challenging the West.’ . . .”

. . . . The GMBDW reported earlier this week that Egypt had summoned the Qatari Ambassador to the Egyptian foreign ministry in order to object to Qatari criticism of the crackdown on the Brotherhood as well as to Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera’s coverage of events.

The GMBDW reported in September 2013 on the ongoing conflicts regarding Al-Jazeera’s coverage of events in Egypt. In July 2012, the GMBDW had reported on the resignation of the 22 members of the Al-Jazeera Egyptian bureau in protest over what they say were instructions from the management to “favor the Muslim Brotherhood.” In 2009, Egyptian authorities were reported to be in the process of revoking Al-Jazeera’s license to broadcast and that the network was planning to close its bureau office in Cairo.

Leaked US State Department cables indicate that Al-Jazeera, based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, operates as an arm of Qatari foreign policy which has recently been strongly supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the recently deposed Mohamed Morsi. Our predecessor publication extensively covered the role of Qatar as a supporter of the Global Muslim Brotherhood and was the first to report on the strong ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas of Wadah Khanfar, the former Director-General of Al-Jazeera who resigned in 2011 after serving for eight years. . . . .

 

Discussion

7 comments for “Al Jazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Overthrow of Morsi”

  1. According to analyst David P. Goldman (AKA ‘Spengler’), Qatar’s emir may have been deposed by his son, because he spent 1/3 of Qatar’s foreign currency reserves propping the Brothers in Egypt.
    See…
    http://pjmedia.com/spengler/2013/07/08/islams-civil-war-moves-to-egypt/?print=1

    Posted by Vanfield | July 15, 2013, 3:15 pm
  2. http://www.politico.com/story/2013/07/congress-qatar-stop-funding-hamas-93965.html

    Confronting Qatar’s Hamas ties
    By JONATHAN SCHANZER | 7/10/13 1:52 PM EDT

    Qatar’s ambassador to Washington, Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi, is about to receive a letter that will put his diplomatic skills to the test.

    Congressmen Peter Roskam (R-IL) and John Barrow (D-GA) are circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter on Capitol Hill this week, collecting signatures to challenge the uber-wealthy Persian Gulf emirate over its financial ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas.

    The draft letter, addressed directly to Rumaihi, acknowledges that “longstanding, strategic bilateral relations between the United States and Qatar, including a strong defense pact, are of critical importance to both countries.”

    “However,” it continues, “we believe that Qatar’s relationship with Hamas empowers, legitimizes, and bolsters an organization committed to violence and hatred.”

    Qatar is a valuable ally for Washington. The sprawling al-Udeid Airbase near Doha is a crucial asset for CENTCOM, particularly in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, Qatar has played a key role in organizing, financing, and arming the opposition to Bashar al- Assad’s regime in Syria at a time when the U.S. government has failed to reach consensus.

    However, Roskam, Barrow, and a growing group of other legislators don’t believe that should absolve the Qataris of their support for a terrorist group best known for suicide bombings and firing rockets into civilian areas. Of particular concern is Qatar’s reported pledge of $400 million in financial aid to Hamas last year, and the fact that Hamas’s leader, Khaled Meshal, now hangs his hat in Doha. Meshal recently delivered a sermon at Qatar’s Grand Mosque in which he affirmed Hamas’s commitment “to liberate Jerusalem” – a euphemism for the destruction of Israel.

    The congressional letter also notes that Qatar’s recently-retired emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, made “the first visit by a foreign leader to Gaza since Hamas took power in 2007,” and further expresses alarm that the emir chartered a private plane in April for Hamas militants to visit Doha.

    Of course, the emir recently abdicated the throne to make way for his son, Tamim. And it’s possible that Tamim will eschew his father’s Hamas policy. Rumors in the Arabic-language press even suggested that Tamim gave Meshal 48 hours to vacate Qatar after the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt last week.

    It is clear now that these were only rumors. Qatar’s policy has not wavered. But what if congressional pressure could force Tamim to change course?

    The timing of this letter is critical. It coincides with the fall of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which was one of Hamas’s most important patrons. One senior Israeli security official told me that he viewed Egypt as the “back office” for Hamas. Cairo, for example, hosted the group’s internal elections earlier this year, and allowed one of its more senior leaders, Mousa Abu Marzouk, to be based there. More importantly, underground tunnels connecting Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip serve as a crucial lifeline for the smuggling of weapons, goods, and cash.

    With Egypt’s Brotherhood down for the count, the Egyptian junta is now shutting down the Hamas tunnels. With few allies left in the region, Hamas is now clinging to Qatar for financial and political assistance. If Congress can successfully challenge that relationship, the Israeli security official believes that it “can weaken or even destroy” the movement.

    Roskam and Barrow’s letter to al-Rumaihi is expected to drop sometime this month. It will fall far short of labeling Qatar a “state sponsor of terror,” but it will undoubtedly encounter stiff resistance from the State Department, which jealously protects its alliance with this tiny but influential state.

    Roskam and Barrow are apparently prepared for this battle, particularly if Secretary of State John Kerry weighs in. As they note in their letter, in 2009, then-Senator Kerry warned: “Qatar can’t continue to be an American ally on Monday that sends money to Hamas on Tuesday.” We’re about to find out if that’s true.

    Jonathan Schanzer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

    Posted by Vanfield | July 18, 2013, 8:48 am
  3. Here are several articles from the Egyptian press, showing Germany pimping for the M. Bros.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/0/75161/Egypt/0/Strifewracked-Egypt-facing-moment-of-truth-Germany.aspx

    Strife-wracked Egypt facing ‘moment of truth’: Germany
    AFP , Friday 28 Jun 2013

    Germany on Friday called an escalation in political violence in Egypt a “moment of truth” for its fledgling democracy and urged Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to implement reforms.

    Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle underlined that demonstrators had a right to peaceful assembly and urged both sides to refrain from bloodshed after one activist was killed overnight, his spokesman said.

    Westerwelle “is deeply concerned about the current escalation in political tensions in Egypt,” the spokesman, Andreas Peschke, told reporters.

    “This is in his view a key moment of truth for political change in Egypt.”

    Westerwelle urged all parties to “live up to their responsibilities and prevent any outbreak of violence”.

    “What Egypt needs above all are reforms so that the economic situation will improve and people have real future prospects,” Peschke said. “That must be, in our view, the goal of all political forces in Egypt.”

    Fears mounted of a bloody showdown between supporters and opponents of Morsi after a demonstrator was killed in the latest violence to cloud the Arab world’s most populous democracy.

    Islamist groups called on their supporters to camp out indefinitely in a Cairo square Friday two days before a planned protest by the mainly secular opposition to demand Morsi’s resignation just a year after he took office.

    Rival demonstrators clashed overnight outside offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, on whose platform the president won election last year.

    The FJP said on its website that one of its supporters was killed. Thirty people were also wounded, the health ministry said.

    Germany, Europe’s biggest economic power, has recently stepped up its criticism of crackdowns on civil society in Egypt, most recently slamming a court’s sentencing of two staff members of a German non-governmental organisation for working illegally in the country.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/76482/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-future-should-include-Brotherhood-Merkel.aspx

    Egypt’s future should include Brotherhood: Merkel
    Merkel said Egypt should embark on an “inclusive process” that accommodates all groups
    AP , Sunday 14 Jul 2013

    File photo: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi address the media after talks in Berlin January 30, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is urging Egypt’s new rulers not to exclude the Muslim Brotherhood from the political process as they work on plans for the future.

    In an interview with ARD television Sunday, Merkel reiterated Germany’s call for the release of Mohammed Morsi, a Brotherhood leader who was ousted as Egypt’s president by the military nearly two weeks ago. The U.S. has backed that call.

    Merkel said Egypt should embark on an “inclusive process” that accommodates all groups. She added: “Others were excluded by the Muslim Brotherhood; the opposite must not happen now.”

    She insisted that everything must be done to find a “common path” forward.

    Morsi’s supporters have refused to accept his ouster or the military-backed timeline for transition, which calls for constitutional changes and new elections.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/76315/Egypt/Politics-/Updated-Germany-calls-for-Morsi-release-in-Egypt.aspx

    Updated: Germany calls for Morsi release in Egypt
    Germany’s foreign ministry spokesman calls for an end to the ‘restrictions on Morsi’s whereabouts’
    AFP , Friday 12 Jul 2013

    Germany condemns violence in Egypt, hails Morsi’s foreign policy
    Germany on Friday called for the release of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi amid mounting tensions between supporters and opponents over his overthrow.

    “We call for an end to the restrictions on Mr Morsi’s whereabouts,” a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.

    The German ministry spokesman said a “trusted institution” such as the International Committee of the Red Cross should be granted access to Morsi.

    Morsi is currently being held in a “safe place, for his safety” and has not yet been charged with anything, according to the Egyptian foreign ministry, but military and judicial sources say he may eventually face charges.

    And he called on all groups to refrain from violence as the Muslim Brotherhood, the influential group from which Morsi emerged, vowed to keep protesting until he is reinstated.

    “We and our partners are of the opinion that any appearance of selective justice in Egypt must be avoided and there must be no political persecution,” he said.

    “That is not only an expression of our principles on the rule of law but also our conviction that any form of political persecution would be damaging for the future of Egypt.”

    He said “a return to democracy” in Egypt could only succeed “if all political forces can take part in the democratic transformation process.”

    The Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of Morsi have called separate rallies across Cairo Friday amid fears of further bloodshed in the Arab world’s most populous country.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/77377/World/International/Brotherhood-must-play-role-in-Egypt-reconciliation.aspx

    Brotherhood must play role in Egypt reconciliation: German FM
    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle says solution to Egypt political crisis requires participation of Muslim Brotherhood
    Ahram Online, Thursday 25 Jul 2013

    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has urged all parties in Egypt to find a prompt solution to the country’s political crisis, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported.

    Westerwelle issued a statement on Thursday stressing that Egypt’s future cannot be decided by “confrontations.”

    Egypt’s democratic transition requires the Muslim Brotherhood’s inclusion in the political scene, he added. “Paving the way for a stable future will not be achieved unless the democratic transition includes all civilian leaders.”

    Westerwelle’s statement comes after Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi called for mass protests on Friday to give the military a mandate to combat “violence and terrorism.”

    Presidential spokesperson Ahmed El-Muslimani stated on Wednesday that the presidency backed El-Sisi’s call for protests.

    “Egypt has already started a war on terrorism. El-Sisi’s call for protests is to protect the revolution and the state,” El-Muslimani added.

    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/76733/Egypt/Politics-/Morsi-release-would-aid-reconciliation,-asserts-Ge.aspx

    Morsi release would aid reconciliation, asserts German ambassador
    Michael Bock clarifies Germany’s stance on the ongoing detention of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, calling for an inclusive democratic process and political reconciliation
    Sarah El-Rashidi, Wednesday 17 Jul 2013

    Release Morsi to solve Egypt’s current strife: Social Democratic Party head
    German Ambassador to Egypt Michael Bock has clarified his country’s position during a small press meeting attended by Ahram Online Wednesday at the German Embassy in Cairo following a contentious statement made by the German foreign ministry calling for the release of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

    The statement was widely condemned among Egyptians amidst ongoing political upheaval between supporters and opponents of Morsi’s removal.

    “We call for an end to the restrictions on Mr Morsi’s whereabouts and suggest a trusted institution be granted access to Morsi,” stated a German foreign ministry spokesman Friday, identifying the International Committee of the Red Cross as a credible body for the task.

    Ambassador Bock reiterated the same sentiments on Morsi’s detention and the intervention of a trustworthy institution. The ambassador highlighted that the ministry’s statement was selectively quoted and that important parts of its statement were disregarded by the media.

    When questioned on the rationale behind seeking Morsi’s release, Ambassador Bock said that unwarranted political arrests of Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood figures would further alienate the Islamist organisation and push it underground. Such isolation would likely harden their heroic status among supporters, which may have dangerous repercussions.

    “Morsi’s release is useful for the country’s re-democratisation. The judiciary should rapidly determine a verdict. Is there a case against him or not?” Bock asked, elaborating that the German government is yet to get a response from the prosecutor general in this regard, adding that using judicial channels as a means to exact political revenge would be unwise.

    EU calls for inclusive approach

    The European Union appears to be adopting a similar stance with regards to Morsi’s release. Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, announced prior to her arrival in Egypt on Tuesday: “I am going to Egypt to reinforce our message that there must be a fully inclusive political process, taking in all groups that support democracy.”

    Ashton met with Interim President Adly Mansour and General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, defence minister and head of the army, as well as Nabil Fahmy, the newly-appointed foreign minister.

    She also met with officials from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Amr Darrag, former minister of planning and international cooperation, and Mohammed Ali Beshr, who served as minister of state for local development until 3 July 2013 — the day of Morsi’s ouster.

    The EU’s role in moderating reconciliation efforts between political currents was the focus of discussions, as well as the release of Morsi.

    In terms of defining the ouster of Morsi, which followed millions taking to the streets 30 June calling for early presidential elections, Ambassador Bock said that the events of 3 July have not been classified as a “coup d’etat” by the German government.

    “Although the foreign minister had said this was a setback for democracy, owing to the military’s intervention, it was nonetheless never labelled as a coup d’etat,” Bock told Ahram Online, preferring to refer to 30 June as “the second wave of the January 25 Revolution” and “a manifestation of the will of the Egyptian people.”

    In his government’s further defence, Bock drew attention to a statement made by German President Joachim Gauck that was not quoted by the papers, which stated that under volatile conditions where civil war is a risk, extraordinary measures must be taken.

    Gauck also voiced Germany’s willingness to support a new democratic order in Egypt; such statements contradict claims in the media of bias, suggested Ambassador Bock.

    “We are watching and trying to help Egypt on its difficult way,” he pledged, whilst conceding that the path to democracy is going to be a long and “bumpy” one, as revolutions take time to unfold.

    ‘We liaise with all sides’

    Reconciliation is key, stressed Bock, so as to end the suffering of the Egyptian people. Order and economic progress need to be re-established. Different factions need to be involved in the democratic process, he said.

    “We liaise with all sides: the military, the Muslim Brotherhood, the leftists and liberals, etc,” he added.

    The military and judiciary are aware of the need for reconciliation, maintained the ambassador, intimating trust in the military’s involvement in the political process, stressing that retaining power would not be in its interests. Time needs to be given and criticism of the army limited, urged the ambassador, to enable it to continue what has been started.

    The importance of the Muslim Brotherhood’s continued political inclusion was underlined by Bock, based on the organisation’s popularity amongst the poor and due to its long standing role as a welfare provider during the Mubarak era.

    The German diplomat nevertheless admitted that Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood rule was marred by many errors. One of the major mistakes made by Morsi, he highlighted, related to his promise to allow ample time to debate the new constitution whilst instead unexpectedly rushing the process to a vote. Such actions indicated a clear disregard of the democratic process.

    Yet, in spite of such mistakes, and recent events, Bock reinforced the importance of the Muslim Brotherhood not turning its back on democracy and re-joining political life.

    Criticism concerning Interim President Mansour Adly’s recent constitutional declaration was described by Bock as expected given the time constraint Adly was under in making the declaration. Nonetheless, the German ambassador optimistically asserted that such criticism can now be constructively voiced as part of the new democratic process.

    Posted by Vanfield | July 30, 2013, 8:42 am
  4. @Vanfield–

    These fit right in with the lines of inquiry developed on the programs and in the posts for years.

    Good work!

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | July 30, 2013, 12:04 pm
  5. The cable news channel Al Jazeera America has launched! Most of us can probalby agree on not breaking out the champagne!

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/20/al-jazeera-america-millennial-viewers/2677317/

    Posted by GK | August 20, 2013, 11:02 pm
  6. http://www.timesofisrael.com/dramatic-capture-of-a-brotherhood-leader/

    Dramatic capture of a Brotherhood leader
    Erdogan’s accusing Israel of toppling Morsi makes moderate Arabs dislike Turkey, columnist claims
    By Elhanan Miller August 21, 2013, 3:06 pm 2

    The arrest of Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie in Cairo leads the news in Arabic language dailies Wednesday, which went to print before news broke of a large chemical attack in Syria.

    “A security source tells A-Sharq Al-Awsat: A phone call led to Badie’s arrest,” reads the headline of the Saudi-owned daily, featuring a photo of Badie in a white shirt moments after his arrest early Tuesday morning.

    According to the newspaper’s source, police arrested a Muslim Brotherhood member of parliament three days ago, and after tracing a phone conversation, recognized the voice of Badie, who was hiding out at the parliamentarian’s home.

    London-based daily Al-Hayat reports that Badie, remanded for 15 days after being indicted for incitement to kill, will be replaced by his deputy Mahmoud Izzat, “who is known for his extremism.”

    Al-Hayat reveals the name of the parliament member who harbored Badie in his home near the Brotherhood encampment at Rabiah Al-Adawiya Square: Hazem Farouq.

    Badie is being indicted, among other things, for using Hamas operatives to guard him personally and forming a terrorist organization to burn churches in the country, the daily reports.

    “The arrest of the Brotherhood leader represents a severe blow to the movement, which has been weakened by confrontations on the street… culminating in a massive arrest campaign among the Brotherhood’s regional leaders and cutting their lines of communication. But Badie’s arrest may cause an eruption of violence, especially considering that his heir belongs to the extremist wing of the movement,” reads the article.

    Sources inside the Brotherhood tell London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi that Badie will remain the movement’s leader, despite reports on the Brotherhood’s website of the appointment of Izzat to replace him. Izzat is currently outside Egypt, the sources reported, and it will therefore be difficult for him to serve as general guide, even temporarily.

    Meanwhile, Saudi news website Elaph reports that Brotherhood official and tele-preacher Safwat Higazi was arrested by police as he attempted to escape to Libya. Higazi reportedly shaved his beard and dressed up as a veiled woman, but was nevertheless apprehended near the Libyan border.

    Higazi was caught following the arrest of his brother a few days ago. The brother’s mobile phone conversations helped trace the Brotherhood official to Siwa, near the Libyan border. Higazi is being indicted for incitement to violence.

    Commenting on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Israel was behind the military coup which toppled Mohammed Morsi, A-Sharq Al-Awsat columnist Tareq Homayed says that such statements diminish any possibility of cooperation between Turkey and the “moderate Arab world.”

    “Mr. Erdogan’s current and past statements concerning the Egyptian crisis in no way serve Turkey’s interest and its relations with regional states. What Erdogan doesn’t understand is that his government’s position toward Turkey has become a source of concern no less than the concern from Iran. As they say, a wise foe is better than an ignorant friend. Erdogan’s statements diminish any chances of increasing regional cooperation between moderate Arabs and Turkey. They also annul the illusion of ‘the Turkish model’ or the illusion of ‘the Erdogan Brotherhood’ which appealed to many in the region.”

    On the other side of the political divide, Al-Jazeera columnist Mu’min Bsiso wonders when Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi will be tried for murder.

    “What is taking place in Egypt today poses new doubts in the Arab League, which gave the murderer license to kill his people without batting an eyelid,” writes Bsiso.

    “Can anyone imagine a scenario in which the leader of the coup, Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, and his gang of bloody coup leaders — politicians, military men and party members — will be saved from the repercussions of the great massacre that unfolded on the streets of Egypt over the past few days?”

    Posted by Vanfield | August 21, 2013, 8:33 am
  7. It isn’t easy being the king. For instance, there are other kings, and sometimes they get pissed:

    The New York Times
    3 Gulf Countries Pull Ambassadors From Qatar Over Its Support of Islamists

    By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
    MARCH 5, 2014

    CAIRO — Tensions between Qatar and neighboring Persian Gulf monarchies broke out Wednesday when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from the country over its support of the Muslim Brotherhood and allied Islamists around the region.

    The concerted effort to isolate Qatar, a tiny, petroleum-rich peninsula, was an extraordinary rebuke of its strategy of aligning with moderate Islamists in the hope of extending its influence amid the Arab Spring revolts.

    But in recent months Islamists’ gains have been rolled back, with the military takeover in Egypt, the governing party shaken in Turkey, chaos in Libya and military gains by the government in Syria.

    The other gulf monarchies had always bridled at Qatar’s tactic, viewing popular demands for democracy and political Islam as dual threats to their power.

    The Saudi monarchs, in particular, have grumbled for years as tiny Qatar has swaggered around like a heavyweight. It used its huge wealth and Al Jazeera, which it owns, as instruments of regional power. It negotiated a peace deal in Lebanon, supported Palestinian militants in Gaza, shipped weapons to rebels in Libya and Syria, and gave refuge to exiled leaders of Egypt’s Brotherhood — all while certain its own security was assured by the presence of a major American military base.

    In addition to differences over Sunni groups like the Brotherhood, Qatar also views Iran as a manageable concern, while Saudi Arabia sees it as an existential danger, analysts said. The internal tensions make it harder for Washington to reassure the nervous governments in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that American negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program will not undermine gulf security. And a diplomatic breakdown like the withdrawal of the ambassadors all but precludes any hope of coordinating their competing efforts to bolster the Syrian rebels, another Western goal.

    “The gulf squabbling really does not help,” Mr. Stephens said. Iran, he said, is “the only one who wins from this.”

    In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain all but accused Qatar of engaging in espionage against them by supporting the Brotherhood and providing a media platform for its allies.

    The statement said they had withdrawn their envoys “to protect their security” because Qatar failed to fulfill vows “to refrain from supporting organizations or individuals who threaten the security and stability of the gulf states, through direct security work or through political influence,” and also “to refrain from supporting hostile media.”

    But after “strenuous attempts” at a meeting of their representatives at the Gulf Cooperation Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday night, the statement said, Qatar still “declined to commit to enforce these measures.”

    In its own statement, Qatar expressed “surprise and regret” and denied that the rift had anything to do with “security and stability.”

    The other gulf states were retaliating against Qatar for refusing to join them in backing the military ouster of Egypt’s Islamist president by Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, now a field marshal, said Nasser bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, a former Qatari ambassador to Washington, speaking on Al Jazeera’s English-language network. “The whole issue is really about Sisi,” he said. “These countries are supporting a coup d’état” and “they want Qatar to support such a policy” but “we will never support another regime that kills its own people.”

    He said Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were trying to take the Arab world back to the years before the Arab Spring of 2011. “They want to keep the Arab world in the hole, they want them to stay weak countries controlled by dictators,” he said, but “we are not going to support dictators.”

    Tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia go back further. In 2002, Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador in protest over broadcasts by Al Jazeera that included criticism of the kingdom and its founder; the ambassador did not return until 2007.

    But it is the battle for Egypt that has brought tensions between Qatar and its neighbors to a new peak. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have cheered Field Marshal Sisi for removing the Islamists from power in Cairo before their example or influence might stir unrest closer to home. Both lavished Egypt’s new military-backed government with critical financial support, and both nodded approvingly when it outlawed the Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

    Qatar, on the other hand, was Egypt’s most important donor when the Brotherhood was in power. Doha, along with London and Istanbul, has become a hub for Brotherhood leaders in exile.

    And Al Jazeera has continued to provide the only Arabic-language news coverage in Egypt sympathetic to the Brotherhood even as Egypt’s government has begun treating the network itself as something close to a terrorist group, including jailing four of its journalists.

    Perhaps most gallingly to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Al Jazeera has provided a platform for Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an influential Egyptian-born preacher close to the Brotherhood, as he has fiercely criticized the gulf governments for backing the military takeover.

    The United Arab Emirates state news media reported last month that its government had summoned Qatar’s ambassador to express “extreme resentment” at a declaration on Al Jazeera by Sheik Qaradawi that the Emirates “has always been opposed to Islamic rule.”

    But even the summoning of the ambassador did not persuade the Qataris to keep Sheik Qaradawi from returning with more criticism the next week, said Mustafa Alani, a scholar at the Gulf Research Center in Geneva. And the Saudis and Emiratis objected that Qatar did not join Egypt in declaring the Brotherhood a terrorist threat, he said.

    “Qatar has never hidden their support of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Mr. Alani said. “In all the other countries, Qaradawi and his like are on the black list, but the Qataris give this man a platform to attack and criticize the security policies of the other states” in the gulf.

    “The Qataris are not toeing the line,” he said.

    So the promotion of the Muslim Brotherhood and its peculiar vision of democracy via Al Jazeera appears to be the primary irritant to Qatar’s neighbors. Let’s see if a new anti-Muslim Brotherhood channel and a host of other new media outlets smooths things over:

    TheNational.ae
    Qatar to launch Al Jazeera counterweight

    Justin Vela
    May 4, 2014 Updated: May 5, 2014 13:11:00

    ABU DHABI // Qatar is launching a new television station as a political counterweight to Al Jazeera amid concern the network has become too supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The new station is to be an Arabic-language news channel based in London and broadcasting across the Arab world. It is one of several new media ventures launched under the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who succeeded his father in June and is seeking to put his own stamp on the country’s vast soft power machine.

    The driving force behind the new station is Azmi Bishara, the Palestinian director of the Doha-based Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, and a close confidant of the emir.

    Mr Bishara is known to be “fairly anti-Brotherhood” and willing to criticise the group publicly, said Michael Stephens, deputy director of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies Qatar.

    Bishara recommended that it be started. His own beliefs are that Qatar has been too close to the Ikhwan for too long.

    Mr Stephens said the channel, named AlAraby Television Network, was supposed to launch in January but kept getting pushed back.

    It is currently recruiting staff, placing job adverts for a satellite coordinator and a planning producer and headhunting from existing Arabic news stations such as BBC Arabic.

    Media outlets serve as Qatar’s main soft power tool on the international stage, especially the Doha-based television network Al Jazeera.

    Since its launch in 1996 Al Jazeera has grown exponentially but its criticism of other Arabian Gulf countries and willingness to give voice to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, in line with Doha’s support for Islamists after the Arab Spring uprisings, has angered Qatar’s neighbours.

    In one of the worst diplomatic spats in the GCC’s history, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in March. The protest came after Youssef Al Qaradawi, a spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has a show on Al Jazeera, continued their policies.

    Saudi Arabia considers the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist organisation, a position backed by the UAE.

    The new station will serve as a way for Qatar to not only boost its already sizeable media industry, but also allow Sheikh Tamim to step out of the shadow of his father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and rebalance the country’s policies after drawing the ire of its neighbours.

    “My view is that it’s the emir trying to be his own man,” said Andrew Hammond, a Middle East analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “He hasn’t really emerged from the shadow of his father.”

    While Qatar would risk losing face and regional influence by closing Al Jazeera, the establishment of the new outlets appears part of a strategy to gain a new audience.

    Instead of competing directly with Al Jazeera, the new station would be more likely to compete for viewers with Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya television.

    Yet with so many Arabic-language news outlets in existence, Qatar’s new ventures are unlikely to offer Sheikh Tamim the same kind of power that Al Jazeera offered his father Sheikh Hamad.

    “This channel is designed to correct the image of Qatar, not to assert its interests,” said Mr Stephens.

    The television station was registered in the UK in September 2013, according to business records.

    Public documents describe the company’s objectives as: “To set up and operate television and broadcsting [sic] stations and services, publishing and printing newspapers and magazines.”

    Sabah Al Mukhtar, the London-based lawyer who registered the company, described Al Jazeera as the landmark station, but said it was “less impartial than it was before”.

    “Without Al Jazeera you would not have AlAraby, you would not have the other stations that are flourishing all over the place,” Mr Al Mukhtar said.

    Qatar has also launched a news website based in London and with an office in Beirut. Named Al Araby Al Jadeed, the website is owned by Fadaat Media Limited, which registered in the UK in May 2013, shortly before Sheikh Tamim took over from his father.

    Sultan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a businessman from a prominent Qatari family, is listed on the documents as director.

    An employee of Fadaat Media, who refused to give his name, described Al Araby Al Jadeed as intended to offer unbiased political news focused on “liberal freedoms” and the “ideals of the Arab Spring”.

    The website will be only in Arabic for now and aims to eventually publish a print edition, he said.

    The move to establish new media outlets is likely connected to a wider Qatari strategy that sees Al Jazeera rebranding itself by renaming its sports division beIN and its children’s channel JeemTV.

    “I think they are splitting up the brand,” said Mr Stephens.

    While Al Jazeera is openly funded by the Qatari-government, its involvement in Fadaat Media and Al Araby Television Network is not clear.

    The representative from Fadaat Media denied any connection to a government, saying that the company was invested in by private businessmen.

    “It’s not that they need a written signed approval from the emir, but of course they would want his tactic support,” Mr Stephens said of the new outlets.

    When Emir Tamim came to power in June 2013, there was an expectation he would change Qatar’s policies.

    Yet, there were few immediate signs of change. Though he had abdicated, Sheikh Hamad was still believed to wield considerable power behind the scenes and Tamim did not alter his father’s policies.

    Florence Gaub, a senior analyst at the EU Institute for Security Studies, said the location and even the name of the new television suggested Sheikh Tamim had big ambitions for it.

    “It shows the ambition to create something new and maybe even shows the ambition to create something bigger than Al Jazeera.”

    Qatar has also launched a news website based in London and with an office in Beirut. Named Al Araby Al Jadeed, the website is owned by Fadaat Media Limited, which registered in the UK in May 2013, shortly before Sheikh Tamim took over from his father.

    Sultan Ghanim Al Kuwari, a businessman from a prominent Qatari family, is listed on the documents as director.

    An employee of Fadaat Media, who refused to give his name, described Al Araby Al Jadeed as intended to offer unbiased political news focused on “liberal freedoms” and the “ideals of the Arab Spring”.

    The website will be only in Arabic for now and aims to eventually publish a print edition, he said.

    The move to establish new media outlets is likely connected to a wider Qatari strategy that sees Al Jazeera rebranding itself by renaming its sports division beIN and its children’s channel JeemTV.

    “I think they are splitting up the brand,” said Mr Stephens.

    While Al Jazeera is openly funded by the Qatari-government, its involvement in Fadaat Media and Al Araby Television Network is not clear.

    The representative from Fadaat Media denied any connection to a government, saying that the company was invested in by private businessmen.

    “It’s not that they need a written signed approval from the emir, but of course they would want his tactic support,” Mr Stephens said of the new outlets.

    That’s quite a balancing act on the way for Qatar’s global media empire because if it works the way it sounds like they’re planning on making it work, that new news channel could end up making the government of Qatar as uncomfortable as Al Jazeera is making Saudi Arabia and the UAE. For instance, it’ll be interesting to see the new channel’s views on the best way to address the situation in Syria. Really interesting…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 6, 2014, 8:15 am

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