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New Eastern Outlook

Why Qatar Wants “to Make Friends” With Russia

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As it has been reported, the leaders of the International Union of Muslim Scholars drafted an open letter, stating that they “share a positive attitude towards the Russian Federation, which supports the Arabs and Muslims today.” Moreover, the letter states that if any any decision is to be made in relation to the Russian Federation, those making the decision must first consult Russia’s Islamic theologians. The letter is truly unique, in fact, it says that the International Union of Muslim Scholars supports the actions of the Russian authorities in Syria. If there is at least a couple of sincere words in this letter, then means a lot, especially if one is to remember that the headquarters of this organization are located in Doha – the capital of Qatar, a Wahhabi state. Moreover, the letter states that the fate of Bashar al-Assad should be decided by the Syrian people themselves.

It would be an understatement to say that it’s an unusual step, since this International Union is one of the most influential and authoritative Muslim organization in the world that brings together Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and even Ibadi Muslim, that are generally residing in Oman. There’s at least 90 thousands of prominent Muslim scholars to be found in the ranks of this Union, including more than 40 of the most authoritative Russian theologians – those are muftis and rectors of the Islamic institutions of the North Caucasus and Volga regions. So, it’s a truly influential organization.

But one thing should be remembered all along – the president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and he’s the spiritual and ideological leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, which remain the largest association of radical Islamists in the whole world. In 1963 the then president of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled Yusuf al-Qaradawi from Egypt for attempts to undermine the ruling regime. But the radical scholar wasn’t wondering the world for long, since he found refuge in Qatar – the Wahhabi emirate. Yusuf al-Qaradawi was the spiritual leader and the ideological mastermind of all the Arab “revolutions” –  Egyptian, Libyan, Syrian and Yemeni. It was he, together with the former Prime Minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim, to organize in 2011 an assault on the Russian ambassador to Doha, since Russia’s envoy exposed his vicious policies of encouraging the Arab revolutions.

Largely due Qaradawi’s influence on the former emir of Qatar, that now has been surpassed by the influence he has on the sitting Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Doha has been fomenting and financing the wave of the Arab “Springs” and, despite all the recent changes in the situation in Syria, it continues supporting the terrorist group that goes under the name Jabhat al-Nusra. What is curious is that after Russian intervenion in Syria Sheikh Yusuf urged Muslims around the world to wage a “jihad” against Russia, and now we witness a complete reversal of his policies.

Many analysts have immediately noted that we are witnessing an incredibly positive phenomenon, almost a complete change Qaradawi’s mentality. But is there any change at all? It’s obvious that a leopard cannot change its spots.

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