22September2017

Home Editorial QATAR IN TROUBLE

QATAR IN TROUBLE

Tensions in the Middle East are not declining but are increasingly widespread. If previously only in Syria and Iraq. Now the atmosphere in the Middle East is getting hotter with diplomatic tensions between Qatar and its neighbors in the Arabian peninsula. Why has  Qatar suddenly become  the center of attention?

Its neighboring countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it  funding  the acts of ISIS terrorists in several countries. Not only  the three countries,  four other Islamic countries namely Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Maldives have also severed  ties with Qatar. In addition to the aforementioned  reason,  the neighbors seem  not to like Qatar’s  relationship with Iran which supports  the Shiite movements in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Egypt, one of the countries that also  broke  diplomatic relations with Qatar suspected the country has become a channel of funds for the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt.

In addition to severing diplomatic relations, the four countries also banned all flights heading to  or coming  from Qatar. Saudi Arabia which shares a land border with Qatar has  closed it and banned Qatar media Al Jazeera to operate in the country. The United Arab Emirates has ordered the Qatari Diplomats to leave the country,  and on the contrary, Qatar orders its citizens who are in the United Arab Emirates to leave the country within 14 days.

It is a question of many, why in just two weeks after the American Islamic Summit organized by Saudi Arabia in Ryadh May 21, 2017, there is division among Islamic countries? This is a new problem among Muslim countries. The alleged flow of funds from Qatar to some groups considered terrorists need to be investigated.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo as the leader of the biggest Muslim country,  reminded the world during  the Ryadh  summit  on four important things: first the need for unity of Muslims to improve Islamic ukhuwah or brotherhood as the key to face terrorism, second, to increase terrorism eradication cooperation and the suspension of funding for terrorist groups, the third is the  need to carry out economic strengthening for vulnerable groups affected by  terrorist movements, and the fourth, all Islamic countries should be part of the solution not part of the problem.

Considering what happened to Qatar with  a suspicion of funding terrorism, the Indonesian thinking in the forum, namely the suspension of funding to terrorist groups, is quite plausible. Another thought of increasing unity among Muslims is also worth noting. Should not Qatar and other countries work together to combat terrorism rather  than quarrel against each other? So, what  President Joko Widodo said that every country in the world including Islamic countries should be part of the solution not part of the problem, can be achieved.

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