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Muslim Brotherhood divides Gulf Cooperation Council

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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed diplomatic relations with Qatar, March 5, 2014. They are also soon expected to ban Qatar Airways from overflying their territory, which will not fail to cause serious financial losses to the Emirate. In addition to closing the Saudi-Qatari border, which is the only land entry to the Emirate.

The three States slammed Qatar for backing a coup attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood in the UAE in November 2013, and for continuing its subversive action via Al-Jazeera even though the Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani had made a written commitment in Kuwait not to interfere in the internal affairs of his neighbors. Indeed, on February 22, the Qatari channel broadcast an incendiary sermon by its spiritual counselor and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Many observers believe that the television preacher’s intervention was encouraged by the former Emir who, it would seem, retrieved some of his prerogatives behind his son’s back, in whose favor he had been forced to abdicate.

Kuwait and the Sultanate of Oman have not joined the other three states.

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has now taken a stance against jihadism. Consequently, it has prohibited its citizens, under threat of imprisonment, from getting involved in conflicts abroad, and has just added the Al-Nusra Front, the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and the Levant, and the Muslim Brotherhood to its list of terrorist organizations.

This decision seems to contradict its investment in an anti-Bashar Al-Assad army stationed in Jordan.

After several coup attempts and having been largely banned in the Arab world during the Cold War, the Muslim Brotherhood were taken under Washington’s protective wing in 2005, who tried to put them in power throughout the Arab world in 2011. However, their failure in Egypt and Libya made them fall into disgrace, with the exception of Syria and Palestine (Hamas) where Washington continues to support them against the Syrian government and in negotiations with Israel.

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