MEF Hosts D.C. Conference on Qatar’s Malign Influence
The Middle East Forum hosted experts, officials and over 100 attendees on February 6 in Washington, D.C. for a first-of-its-kind conference examining whether Qatar is a U.S. ally or global menace. (Click here for conference videos.)
“It’s not too much of an open question,” said MEF president Daniel Pipes, noting the #QatarTheMenace Twitter hashtag. “The wealth of the country and the drive of its leadership have made it into an international force.”
“We need to know who our friends are and who our foes are,” said Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) in opening remarks. “You can’t be both.”
Members of Congress, area experts, former military officials, former intelligence officials, and analysts, from the U.S., UK, Germany and Israel, made it clear that Qatar is no friend; providing new ideas and information for journalists, politicians, policy-makers and the public.
“The Qatari regime has covertly and openly funded, hosted and supported jihadists for decades,” said MEF director Gregg Roman. “But its support for jihadi groups does not just stop at violence. It also goes into the realm of spreading non-violent Islamism in the West, which is hardly ever discussed, despite the billions of dollars that Doha has poured into schools, universities, mosques, TV stations, sports clubs, PR firms, and of course, into the pockets of politicians and their influencers.
“The idea that Saudi Arabia – which has put itself on the path toward reform – somehow remains the world’s chief sponsor of Islamism and jihad is out-dated and needs to be corrected. This role now belongs to Qatar, which must be held to account.”
“Let’s take this message to the world,” concluded Mr. Pipes.