The Qatari style

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

The recent scandalous report by the British Sunday Times about Qatar’s dark methods to nab the 2022 World Cup bid is nothing strange to Doha’s general behavior, and it’s thus nothing that takes us by surprise and nothing that would make us exclaim “Oh my God!”, like the late stage actor Youssef Wahbi would.

It’s perhaps said that the western media campaigns, especially British ones, are all due to the fact that Britain lost the bid to host the major event, but this excuse is used only if parties other than Doha and its Muslim Brotherhood supporters said it. These parties are aided by public relations figures who want Doha’s easy money and others who are willing to carry out any task as long as they’d get paid – and aren’t there several!

The unity of the Qatari approach is amazing in terms of these black media campaigns, from football to politics, to religion, art and society. It is the same murderous black spring!

The evidence

An email dated May 2010 with the subject “strategy” read: “For the past 4 months we have undertaken an extensive campaign to undermine the 2018/2022 candidacies of competitor countries, particularly Australia and the US.”
How was this done?

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- By recruiting journalists, bloggers and other figures to stir questions and hype up negative stories to harm other countries’ bids through media outlets.

- By hiring the head of the Federation of Sports Economists (according to the literal text) to write a comprehensive study on how the World Cup lost money when it was hosted in the US and how suggesting to host the 2018-2022 World Cup will also lead to loss of money.

- Hiring a group of American physical education teachers to ask their representatives in Congress to submit a legislation that opposes hosting the World Cup in the US under the pretext that the money which will be spent on the World Cup can be used for better purposes such as funding sports activities in high schools.

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- Organizing protests by pro-rugby students in Australia who, while watching rugby matches, would raise signs that read “Hands off Our Rugby, No to World Cup!”

Is there any difference between this style and what Doha did while inciting the public opinion in the world and in Saudi Arabia against the presence of an American base in Saudi Arabia (Al-Kharj air base) under the religious excuse of “get the polytheists out from the Arabian Peninsula” only to host a similar base in Qatar?!

Is there a difference between these styles and what Doha and its Muslim Brotherhood affiliates did in terms of inciting against Saudi Arabia with the illusion of the “deal of the century” with Israel, when it frankly and publicly worked with Israel?

Photos of Shimon Peres and Tzipi Livni in Doha are one example, and there are plenty of other interesting examples.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.