GCC and the repercussions of Arab Spring

February 05, 2014 - 4:33:06 am

On Sunday, the Foreign Ministry of the UAE summoned the ambassador of Qatar over remarks made by Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi in his Friday sermon in Doha on January 25. Al Qaradawi had said that “the UAE stands against any Islamic rule, and imprisons its sympathizers”. Later, H E Dr Khalid Al Attiyah, Qatar’s Foreign Minister, said in an interview on Qatar TV that Yusuf Al Qaradawi’s words do not reflect the foreign policy of the State of Qatar, and its foreign policy is always articulated through official channels, not through any other platform.

Of course, this is not the first time, and it will not be the last, when there are tensions and bickering between the Gulf states. Tensions occur repeatedly in various fields and they are not limited to differences of opinion among leaders. If we go back a little, we will find that there were tensions because of a football match, a television series, a song, a poem, or because of tweets in social networking sites. These tensions affect even members of one household. In the past, members of a particular tribe had moved from their location to another place and tribe due to tensions with their original tribe. 

We must understand that there is always tension in human relations but it’s our maturity, awareness and education that keeps us closer and united.

There is no doubt that the Arab revolution has caused division and discrimination among Arab people, caused by regimes, governments, parties with narrow interests, or due to mixing of religion and politics, or politics with culture, and all this is orchestrated to divert public attention from real and serious issues.

Some countries use financial incentives to influence others, some launch media campaigns against other countries in the name of freedom of expression, while others use mosques for partisan interests -- all these will take us back to the old days when tribes fought against each other.

We cannot attain the progress of the developed world and countries of the European Union without changing out negative perceptions. Arabs must embrace the teachings of our religion and realize that Gulf unity is more important and stronger than we think. 

A statement from a mosque or tweets should not damage our unity, and it’s not possible as long as we remain committed to the teaching of Holy Quran and of our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

The Peninsula

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