Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Egypt's path to the future in a single comment? It's part of the developments in the Middle East ever since 9/11 and the flawed US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Iran gained significant influence through the Shia majority and the Maliki government in Iraq. Turkey has made major investments in Iraq's Kurdish north and wants to extend influence in the region (re: Syria). The Sunni monarchs of the Gulf states would not stand by idle to let this happen and have used their great wealth to influence Western powers and Arab uprising in the spring of 2011. The recent developments shows a miscalculation in Syria for Assad's overthrow. To regain foothold, John Kerry has dumped the failed policy of Hillary Clinton including her advisors from Bill's reign of the 1990's.

Egypt's 2nd people's revolution was a necessary adjustment to President Morsi's doing his MB party's bidding and alienated large masses of the population. Funds dried up ...

Read some of my diaries @BooMan Tribune ...

Egypt to receive $4bn in aid from Kuwait

CAIRO, Egypt (DailyNewsEgypt) - Kuwait, the oil-rich US ally, has announced an aid package of $4bn to Egypt, a day after neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia pledged a total of $8bn in aid, one week after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

According Kuwait's official news agency, KUNA, $2bn of the package will be in the form of deposit to the Central Bank of Egypt, while $1bn will be offered as a non-refundable grant. The Gulf state will also provide cash-strapped Egypt with fuel and petroleum products worth $1bn, KUNA's report said.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia announced that Egypt will receive an $8bn aid package; the KSA will contribute with $5bn and UAE will offer $3bn. Saudi's aid will be divided to $1bn cash, $2bn for petroleum products and another $2bn deposit. The UAE will contribute a $1bn grant and $2bn interest-free deposit with the central bank.

Several businesses have launched the 306306 "Support Egypt" campaign, announced in a statement issued by the central bank on 7 July. Contributions to these bank accounts were not limited to businessmen; several syndicates have also showcased their support by providing donations.

McCain calls Morsi ouster a coup d'etat, would block the U.S. sending $1.5bn annual aid

by Oui on Thu Jul 11th, 2013 at 01:09:30 AM EST
That's all? Qatar had given or promised around $20bn to the Morsi government.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Jul 11th, 2013 at 02:37:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May think differently as MB's Supreme Guide may join Morsi in "protective custody." Perhaps some investments  may be diverted to PSG? Excellent PR and close to Hollande and the Elysée? Qatar didn't communicate well it was funding AQIM in opposition to the Mali government.
by Oui on Thu Jul 11th, 2013 at 03:08:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression is that the Emir was toppled and replaced by his son in order to bring Qatar in line with Saudi foreign policy.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jul 11th, 2013 at 03:58:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to The Guardian, the old emir planned his abdication for at least a year and actually delayed it a bit due to events in Syria and a kidney transplant.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jul 13th, 2013 at 02:57:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats what I get for trusting Internet rumors.

Qatar emir hands power to son in rare peaceful transition | World news | guardian.co.uk

Gulf sources say Sheikh Tamim is less keen than his father on the Brotherhood, but most observers predict continuity on key policies. "Tamim has matured a lot," said a family friend. "He will continue what his father started. He is a military man, and he is disciplined."

So the Saudi/Qatar rivalry might continue. Indeed, from Al Jazeera's editorial line it does not look like Qatar is backing down from supporting the Brotherhood.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 05:44:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The new emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, 33, was educated at the English public schools Harrow and Sherborne before graduating from the Sandhurst military academy.

Sheikh Hamad made no mention of the public face of Qatar's assertive foreign policy, prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, a veteran politician who had been expected also to step down. The FM not only lost his job as influential minister, he also lost his position as head of the Qatar Investment Authority.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani: Meet the man who bought London

Al Qaradawi role in Tamim's Qatar sparks debate
Qataris defend the new emir's embrace of controversial cleric

MANAMA, Qatar (Gulf News) - The old man was assisted by an aide as he walked up to the former and new emirs of Qatar to offer his congratulations on the peaceful transition at the top of the state and the hand-over of power.

The Emiri Court in Doha was filled with well-wishers, but Shaikh Yousuf Al Qaradawi [point of view ADL] was taken directly to Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the outgoing emir and the new emir.

The father promptly moved forward and kissed the frail-looking man in a gesture that indicated the deep trust the two men have developed over the years. The scholar then moved to the son, 33, the youngest ruler of an Arab country. Shaikh Tamim planted a kiss on Al Qaradawi's head and then his shoulder.

His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani Emir of the State of Qatar

by Oui on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 06:23:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So two pieces of Kremlology going in different directions with resepct to what foreign policy Qatar will follow. Guess we will have to wait for actions to see.

Passing on the crown as inheritance does have the inherit weakness - compared to electoral systems - of getting a new ruler that nobody knows much about. Kropotkin had a quip about how the crown prince was always liberal, but the tsar was always conservative. My take on it is that the ideas of the crown prince reflected the hopes of the population, while the tsar reflects the realities of power.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 06:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That may be a quite general phenomenon, I've seen the same thing in historical Korean soap operas.

Part of the phenomenon is that whatever the newly crowned king pursues as his highest priority for reform will require concessions on other things that he might also have wished to change ... and the first step to pursuing that reform is to convert his formal position into real power, in the process of which any reforming zeal can often be lost in the weeds.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Jul 15th, 2013 at 01:06:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Al Qaradawi role in Tamim's Qatar...(is functionally similar to Al Wahabi role in Saudi Arabia.)

Al Qaradawi is not a regular religious scholar or a simple Friday mosque preacher. Over the years, the Egyptian-born cleric has acquired a special status on religious, social, economic and political ideas and talks. Doha-based Al Jazeera channel, the most viewed station in the Arab world, helped take him into the homes of millions of viewers, particularly through a weekly one-hour-long talk show in which he shared views and offered advice.

As a prominent supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, he helped propagate their ideology and views on everything and, mainly in the last two years, on political matters. He spoke freely about political developments in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria and pushed his stances through the spoken word following decades of writing books.

He was clearly against former leaders Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali, Hosni Mubarak, and Muammar Gaddafi and never hesitated to show his dislike for Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, urging the use of force to oust him from power. He supported the Arab Spring and wanted a much greater role for Islamists in power.

Part of the tension between Qatar is rivalry between the Saudi Wahabi and the Qatari Al Qaradawi, despite both having very similar political/religious orientations.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 09:56:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I understand the situation with Egypt's Current Account had a deficit of about $8bn in 2012. And this spring the government rationing:

Bakers become latest victims of Egypt subsidy cuts | World news | guardian.co.uk

For decades, the state has subsidised the cost of food and fuel - essential in a country where around one in four live below the poverty line. But a severe economic crisis has forced the Islamist-led government to not only cut subsidies but also to introduce rationing. On Tuesday, ministers announced plans to introduce a smart-card system that limits each citizen to three small loaves a day.

Of course, that was due to the demands of IMF:

Bakers become latest victims of Egypt subsidy cuts | World news | guardian.co.uk

The government has little choice but to implement its financial reforms. Egypt's foreign reserves have more than halved since 2011. The IMF is refusing to make good on a much-needed and much-delayed loan worth $4.8bn until Egypt reduces its subsidies - which make up around a quarter of its annual budget.

"Frankly, they're stuck," said Bassiouny of the government. "They don't have much room."

So as I see it, unless the international economic situation turns around (which is unlikely), this level of support package is needed annually only to keep the situation from deteriorating. And that is if the donors has the good sense to demand that Egypt does not follow IMF's advice, instead of the opposite. But the food and fuel situation as it is, is not a good situation for any stable government. I don't know what level of subsidies would be needed for an Egyptian government that can do something significant about the food situation (through subsidiesed food or redistribution to the poor). Anyone wants to take a stab at guesstimating that?

The 306306 "Support Egypt" campaign is interesting as it is basically volountary redistribution (if the incoming government chooses to use it so). It points towards a redistributive solution being possible with support from the business community. Essentially Bismarckian welfare (pay the poor before they revolt). However, I don't know of any government succeeding in such a solution during an economic downturn, the two exampels that comes to mind - Bismarck and Putin - introduced theirs after the immediate crisis had passed.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Jul 11th, 2013 at 04:50:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An article I read argues that the GCC support for the overthrow of Mursi is rooted in the monarchs' fear of democracy: the Brotherhood was seen as a potential inspiration for domestic Islamist movements demanding elections.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Jul 13th, 2013 at 02:48:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Saudi family has, historically, been acutely aware of the potential danger to it from uncontrolled religious movements if they got involved in politics.  Part of the family's history involves a alliance between Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab and  Muhammad bin Saud, ruler of Diriyah, just west of modern Riyadh, in the mid 18th century. Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab supported Muhammad bin Saud in matters of religion and al-Wahhab supported al Saud politically. The Wahabi reformers gave the Saudi a political-religious mission that led, eventually, to the modern Saudi State.

The alliance with the Wahabi continues and that family dominates the ulema. During the unification Abdulaziz also used the Ikhwan, or Brotherhood, composed of traditional tribal warriors, to help him unite the peninsula into its current form. But Brotherhood leaders criticized Abdulaziz for modern innovationa and did not respect treaties negotiated by Abdulaziz, attacking Jordan and Kuwait. Abdulaziz employed modern weapons  obtained from the British, including two airplanes flown by British pilots, to defeat the Ikhwan. The leaders were killed and the remainder were incorporated into the Saudi military.

I don't think it is reasonable to conclude that any of the Gulf States have any particular view of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but that all of them have good reason to be cautions about empowering such groups. I would expect them to relate to them on a tactical basis, depending on the needs of each state at any given time.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Jul 13th, 2013 at 11:16:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have said "to conclude a priora" about Gulf States views of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. Obviously, in the case of Qatar, they have partnered with Al Qaradawi who has been very supportive of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. But things can change:

New Qatari Emir Dumps Muslim Brotherhood, Banishes Qaradawi, Hamas   Daniel Greenfield   Frontpage Mag  (Source posted July 4, 2013

Qatar has stripped prominent Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi of his Qatari citizenship, has ordered Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshaal (who took refuge in Qatar after it was no longer palatable to be sheltered by Bashar al-Assad) out of the country, and has withdrawn support from the Muslim Brotherhood as a result of Wednesday's events in Egypt (link in Arabic).

I am unfamiliar with both the author and the site, but all links I've found searching the headline go back to a lone Orthodox Jew from Boston blogging in Israel.

Then there is this:
Al-Qaradawi returns to Egypt from Qatar  June 30, 2013 Daily News Egypt Mahitab Assran

According to Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi's official Facebook page, the Muslim cleric will attend demonstrations at Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque in support of President Morsi on Sunday at 5 pm. The shiekh landed in Cairo International Airport Saturday night, amid rumours that Qatar's new Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani had asked him to leave. Al-Qaradawi's official Facebook page denied these reports.

"These rumours are spread  by media outlets in support of Syrian president Bashar Al- Assad in an attempt to taint my image" he said Al-Qaradawi on Facebook.

Al-Qaradawi, considered a prominent spiritual leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, has been openly critical of Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad, urging Muslims across the world to engage in jihad against him.

The Egyptian Army removed Morsi the night of July 3.

Then there was this:
Egypt crisis: Fall of Morsi challenges Qatar's new emir   Bill Law - Gulf analyst,  BBC News

The strategy of support for Mr Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood looked a shrewd one just a year ago. Egypt had emerged from its Arab spring revolution to hold its first fair and open presidential election. Mr Morsi won a slight majority. Key to his election victory was the promise to revitalise Egypt's moribund economy. The Qataris positioned themselves to prime the pump with massive transfers of cash, some $10 billion (£6.5bn) since Mr Morsi came to power.


But this was not a charitable giveaway. It was in the nature of an investment. A Qatari economist told the BBC: "We couldn't stand by and let Egypt collapse", but the billions came with an expectation - "I'll give you the money, show me the outcome," he said....The thinking was that with a functioning economy and a grateful nation, Qatar would be in pole position to capitalise on a resurgent Egypt.

But as Mr Morsi stumbled from one failure to another, the promised economic recovery never got off the ground. On Wednesday that cost Mr Morsi his job and left the Qataris busy attempting damage control. Al Jazeera, based in the Qatari capital, Doha, and funded heavily by the royal family, carried a statement from what it called a foreign ministry source that said in part "Qatar will remain a supporter of brotherly Egypt". And the new Emir Tamim sent best wishes to the interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour.

And then there was this:
Top cleric Qaradawi calls for Jihad against Hezbollah, Assad in Syria  Al Arabia  Sunday, 2 June 2013

And, finally, this:
Qatar Expels Muslim Brotherhood Spiritual Leader Sheik Qaradawi

by sheikyermami on July 5, 2013
Posted by Jim Hoft on Friday, July 5, 2013

The emirate of Qatar reacted to Wednesday's events by stripping Sheik Qaradawi, the Britherhood's spiritual leader of his citizenship, closing down all Brotherhood offices and expelling Qaradawi and Hamas leader Khalid Mesha'al from the country.

According to Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi's official Facebook page, the Muslim Brotherhood leader attended demonstrations at Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque in support of President Morsi last Sunday.

He will not be allowed back into Qatar.

P.S. From Winds of Jihad homepage: "This blog supports Geert Wilders"

Perhaps someone can find some better sources.  :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 05:36:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sheikh reacts to the nonsense on his personal website in Arabic [Google translation]:

Qaradawi on his summer vacation and will return to Doha early September

Did not respond to get caught up to respond to such nonsense, and those rumors peddled by media belonging to the Syrian regime, in order to create confusion about the Shaykh, for his advocacy of the Syrian issue.

He left Sheikh Qaradawi in Doha, heading to Bosnia and Herzegovina to participate in the meetings of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, after the peace on Prince parent Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and Prince Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the country, congratulating him on the beginning of his reign as Emir of Qatar.

He then traveled eminence of Bosnia and Herzegovina heading to Cairo on the morning of Saturday, 29.6.2013 to spend his summer vacation usual, interspersed to perform Umrah in the last ten days of Ramadan, that eminence accustomed to their performance, hosted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.

Wikipedia: European Council for Fatwa and Research

Wary of Mursi, Gulf Arabs keen to appear neutral in Egypt crisis - Reuters July 3, 2013

Yousuf Al Qaradawi: Mohammad Mursi overthrow 'invalid' - Gulf News July 7, 2013

by Oui on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 08:05:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps the outcome will be that Qaradawi remains, for him to leave would be very difficult for him personally, will continue to express his opinions as always, but that the new Emir will allow somewhat more distance to come to be seen between the actions, and especially the funding, of the state of Qatar and the opinions and expressions of Qaradawi. The entire situation surrounding the Brotherhood in Egypt is difficult. What is needed is a way for them to contest and win elections without the danger that they will use that victory to the disadvantage of all but their followers. The protection of the rights of minorities where there are strong differences is the most difficult part of anything that might be described as a democracy. The important thing just now is that Brotherhood leaders not be executed or tortured. That would just feed the cycle of revenge, and that is bad enough as it is.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 09:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A brief overview of developments between Egypt and the GCC states over last decades and the role played by MB in Qatar.

Al Jazeera and Qatar: The Muslim Brothers' Dark Empire?

(JCPA/ Jerusalem Post) - There has been a significant presence of the Muslim Brothers (also known as the Muslim Brotherhood) in Qatar since the second half of the twentieth century. The first wave came from Egypt in 1954 after Nasser had smashed their organization. The next wave came from Syria in 1982 after Hafez el-Assad bombed their stronghold in Hama. The last group arrived after September 11, 2001 - from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar is a different story.

The Brotherhood set its mark on the small Beduin country more than half a century ago when a number of militants, fleeing Nasser's vengeful hand, found refuge there. At the time most of its revenue derived from pearl fishing. The Beduin welcomed the newcomers who were willing to adopt Wahabism and its strict rules. The Brothers devoted themselves to their new home, setting up a Ministry of Education and a Ministry of Religion to mold the youth.

It was at that time that Youssef al-Qaradawi, who was to become the leading religious authority of the movement, arrived in Qatar. He set up two important institutions: the World Union of Islamic Sages, whose function is to explain his religious edicts to the faithful throughout the world, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. The council is meant to help Muslim minorities living in the West preserve their religion in a non-Muslim environment.

Qaradawi's weekly program on Qatar's Al Jazeera channel, Shari'a and Life, develops his extremist views for the benefit of millions of listeners.

by Oui on Mon Jul 15th, 2013 at 01:07:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UAE: Gulf must tackle Muslim Brotherhood threat

ABU DHABI, UAE (JPost) Oct. 8, 2012 - Gulf Arab countries should work together to stop Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood plotting to undermine governments in the region, the United Arab Emirates' foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahayan said.

The UAE, a major oil exporter and business hub, has arrested around 60 local Islamists this year, accusing them of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood - which is banned in the country - and conspiring to overthrow the government.

"The Muslim Brotherhood does not believe in the nation state. It does not believe in the sovereignty of the state," Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said at joint press conference with the Ukrainian foreign minister.

There were individuals within the Muslim Brotherhood who would be able to use their "prestige and capabilities to violate the sovereignty, laws and rules of other states," Sheikh Abdullah added.

Muslim Brotherhood is 'a grave danger to Gulf security'

DUBAI, UAE (Gulf News) June 25, 2013 - Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Commander in Chief of Dubai Police, warned that the Muslim Brotherhood is posing a grave danger to political stability in the Gulf as they tend to seize power and implement their ideology. Their interference in internal affairs of Arab Gulf countries was quite obvious in recent months, which is completely unacceptable for the states in the region.

The MB Axis Egypt - Turkey - Qatar Faces Defeat

by Oui on Sun Jul 14th, 2013 at 04:30:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series