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A divided house cannot stand: Reflections on the Qatar-row

When I first read that Saudi Arabia cut relations with Qatar over alleged statements of the Emir about Iran and Hamas, among others, I was truly sadden. For once, I was disgusted by Saudi Arabia, their arrogance, double standards and their aggression. For their abuse of power, and abuse of the massive influence they have over Sunni-majority countries in Asia and Africa.

I was shocked at their paranoia. Were Emirs remarks enough to set Saudi off balance? Was it their fear or Shia-Islam, their fear of The Brotherhood? Needless to state that Saudi has a significant Shia-minority in their own country. Saudi also exercises an even stricter form of Islam. They have their Wahhabism.

I believe Saudi feels threatened. Qatar is the only country in the region that is trying to cave out a foreign policy that is not directly dictated by Saudi. Of course it creates tensions when little brother is outdoing big brothers accomplishments. Little brother seems more internationally-oriented, self-confident and reflexive. All attributes big brother lacks.

Despite this, Saudi proved that this was not a theological issue. Although it’s hard to overlook that. Politics triumphed religion. Even in the holy month of Ramadan, Saudi demonstrated their arrogance, lack of will to reconcile and violated the sanctity of Ramadan. I suppose, that is the saddest of all. If two neighbouring Arab, Sunni-majority countries can’t work issues out, who can? What does that say about the Muslim world? What does that say about you and me?

The Muslim world is crippled and in bondage due to social, political, ecological, economical and cultural roots. Muslims are faced with growing Islamophobia in the West, and increasing terror attacks on their own soil- Afghanistan and Somalia alike. To have such a conflict get in the way of larger problems facing the Muslim Ummah, is a forsaking of the responsibility that lays on the shoulders of all of our leaders. It’s a shame for countries after countries to side with Saudi, due to threats of economical embargos and cut in funding. It’s a shame. All honours to those Muslim countries that have taken neutral stand, and to those who have offered a hand in order to resolve this conflict.

There needs to be a swift solution to this conflict. It’s an embarrassment for the Muslim world, and it’s an even greater one for Saudi. It only underscores their paranoia about Shia-Islam, The Brotherhood and Qatar’s growing role in the region. The Muslim household is one. A house divided, cannot stand. Therefore, each day that passes only alienates hearts and minds and corrodes our Muslim sense of community.

 We need to put and end to this.

Khadra Yasien Ahmed

Oslo, Norway


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