Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Our Friends the Qatari

This is getting tedious. Do we have any allies in the ME that we can hold up as paragons of Democracy and basic human dignity? Besides Israel? Apparently not Qatar.

Why is Al-Jazeera Silent?

The Qatari Interior Ministry recently revoked the citizenship of 5,266 Qatari men, women, and children, all of them members of the Al-Ghfran tribe, which is a sub-group of the Aal-Marra tribe. The official reason given was that the members of this tribe hold both Qatari and Saudi citizenship. The real reason, however, seems to be that several members of the Aal-Marra tribe were apparently involved in the 1996 coup attempt.

Following the move, Qatari authorities cut off electricity and water supplies to the homes of the tribe members. Their salaries were cut off, and they were denied education, health, and other services. Many were pressured to leave Qatar, and about 3,500 of them emigrated to southern Saudi Arabia where they had relatives. Those who were outside Qatar at the time of the decision to revoke their citizenship were prohibited from reentering the country.

In a letter sent to the UN for help;
"Reasons given by the government is due to the possession of dual nationality, whereas tens of thousands of Qatari possess dual nationality and some declare this openly without fearing deportation. Also not all 6000 citizens has a dual nationality.

As usual most Arab and Muslim organizations remain silent about this collective punishment, something they are so quick to accuse Israel of.

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