Just days after United States President Donald Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom sparked a grotesque protest – a giant balloon depicting Trump as an angry baby holding on to a smart phone was flown over central London – a real despot is coming to town.
The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, had a red-carpet reception at Mansion House, the residence of London’s Lord Mayor, on Monday morning where he met with business leaders. Later in the afternoon, Al Thani will socialize with MPs at a cozy reception in Parliament.
That would be the same Emir who transfers  hundreds of millions of dollars every year to the internationally designated terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza. The money is spent by Hamas on “reconstruction” projects in the coastal enclave, including infrastructure to commit terrorist attacks against Israel.
Also on the list of Al Thani’s beneficiaries is the radical Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas. In June, the Emir dined  with notorious Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi who is banned from entering both the U.S. and UK for inciting religious violence. Al Jazeera, Qatar’s state-owned propaganda mouthpiece, has long provided a platform for the hate preacher and other Brotherhood leaders to promote the group’s theocratic ideology, allowing them to decimate their anti-Western world view to more than 60 million people.
The same Emir supports  the totalitarian ambitions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a country that hangs homosexuals from cranes; imprisons women for protesting the forced hijab; supplies equipment used by Assad to drop poison gas on children; and spreads mayhem from Lebanon all the way to Yemen. Iran’s aggressive behavior, which Qatar described as a “stabilizing force” in the region, led to a far-reaching diplomatic crisis last year. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut all ties with Qatar over the country’s support for terrorism and close relations with Iran.
Al Thani also bankrolls  Salafi jihadist and Sunni Islamist terror groups in Syria, and beyond, that are every bit as vicious as the Islamic State. Qatar has paid ransom demands, shipped supplies, and funneled billions of dollars of funding to groups including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Taliban. Qatar’s beneficiaries in Syria — Ahrar al-Sham and its ally Jabhat al-Nusra, al Qaeda’s former offshoot – have carried out suicide bombings, assassination, and kidnappings. In April of 2017, Doha made  payments totaling at least $275 million to free nine members of the royal family and 16 other Qatari nationals. Recipients of the money included Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah, and Jabhat Fateh Sham, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra.
That would be the same Emir who runs a modern-day slave state. According to the Global Slavery Index 2016, Qatar has one of the highest prevalence of modern day slavery proportionate  to its population. The report found that the Gulf Emirate has the fifth highest concentrations of “slaves” globally, equating to more than 30,000 people out of a population of 2.24 million. The International Trade Union Confederation estimates that by the time the World Cup takes place in Qatar in 2022, at least 4,000 migrant workers will have died as a result of the country’s draconian working conditions.
And it’s the same Emir who throws into jail his own citizens who dare protest against his and his family’s undemocratic rule. In 2011, Qatari authorities arrested Mohammed al-Ajami for a poem in which he, according to a court, had insulted the former emir and urged the overthrow of the government. Among the offending passages was the line: “If the sheikhs cannot carry out justice, we should change the power.” He was only pardoned  after his sentence led to an international outcry.
Unfortunately, for the victims of Qatar’s tyrannical rule, The League of Righteous, who bravely gathered to demonstrate against the American President with a giant balloon, will not be available today to face off the despot from the Gulf. Apparently, for them, human rights are not universal.
[Photo: U.S. Department of State / WikiCommons ]