July 15, 2019
- Universities, media outlets, activist groups and think tanks are key instruments of Qatar’s insidious foreign influence
- Investments in US elite institutions are helping Qatar deflect media attention away from its extremist agenda
Most of Qatar’s funds are channeled through the Qatar Foundation, criticized for its ties to extremist Islamic ideologies and activists, and for giving hate speech a platform in Doha’s Education City Mosque. (Shutterstock)
By Ray Hanania | Arab News
CHICAGO – Qatar is investing billions of dollars in American universities, cash-hungry lobbyists in Washington, DC, journalists, mainstream activist groups and policy think tanks in an apparent drive to soften criticism of its activities that researchers focused on terrorism say fuels violent extremism.
The researchers argue that these concerns should have led the discussion that President Donald Trump held with Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on July 9 at the White House. Though in the past Trump has criticized Qatar over its support for terrorism, this meeting focused only on economic issues.
Journalist and activist Mike Cernovich, who was involved in exposing the sexual harassment allegations that forced Congressman John Conyers to resign and opened the seat to Palestinian activist Rashida Tlaib in Michigan’s 13th District, released a documentary in March titled “Blood Money: How Qatar Bought off the D.C. Media Establishment” to argue the case for greater scrutiny of Qatar’s activities.
Cernovich has come under attack from liberal writers, including some secretly funded by Qatar’s foreign allies. But Cernovich’s documentary raises serious concerns about how Doha has spread its influence deep into critical US establishments to shape Americans’ perception of Qatar, playing down its dubious associations and extremist agenda.
Most of Qatar’s funds are being channeled through Qatar Foundation, which has been criticized for its ties to extremist Islamic ideologies and activists, and for giving hate speech a platform in Doha’s Education City Mosque.
David Reaboi, a national-security consultant based in Washington, DC, has ridiculed Qatar’s attempts to claim a neutral stance when it comes to the Muslim Brotherhood.