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Qatar bills itself as a “bastion of giveaway speech”

By Alastair Sloan / 21 March, 2014


Freedom of debate discordant with blurb concerns has been an ongoing thesis for many media and internet companies handling on an general stage, though it’s singular that a country’s magnanimous proceed to countenance is presented, in itself, as a primary investment opportunity.

Now Qatar, a richest nation in a world, is positioning itself as a magnanimous choice to a other resource-rich Gulf states – as suggested in an op-ed by a CEO of a premier London-listed Qatari investment fund.

The authority of a Qatar Investment Fund PLC, Nick Wilson, authored an essay this week on ArabianBusiness.com, claiming a nation “has a robe of pulling a on-going agenda, to a exasperation of a some-more regressive beside states elsewhere in a Gulf Co-operation Council.”

Qatar Investment Fund manages approximately £200m in resources – investing into Qatari equities and contracting dozens of account managers. Its website trumpets Qatar as one of a worlds fastest flourishing economies, as good as indicating to a hugely remunerative gas exports.

But in this piece, a investment managers emphasised a opposite aspect of Qatar – a a “liberal minded” Al Jazeera TV network and an apparent joining to giveaway speech, generally when compared with a Gulf neighbours.

“We’ve seen a consequences of restraint entrance to information in other countries of a region.”

“Qatar is a citadel of giveaway debate – and a upsurge of information should assistance to emanate a soft sourroundings for investors.” he added.

The square also forked towards on-going women’s rights in Qatar, remarkable a domestic unpredictability of a region, though resolved that Qatar was “less fearful of change,” and “safe for business.”

As Wilson mentioned, Qatar now faces an rare difference with a other GCC members – in sold Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and UAE who dramatically withdrew their envoys from Doha recently. He remarkable that Qatar had not cold their envoys in retaliation, revealing of their “liberal” tendencies.

But Qatar’s support for a Muslim Brotherhood both in Egypt and a Gulf, has set it discordant to GCC confidence process – with UAE and Saudi Arabia carrying designated a Brotherhood “a militant organisation.”

And Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a provocative Islamist reverend and pivotal Muslim Brotherhood member, is formed in Doha. He presents a weekly uncover and oration on a Arabic chronicle of Al Jazeera, reportedly watched by 20 million viewers.

The outspoken reverend recently angry a UAE by disapproval a Emirates domestic policies as “un-Islamic,” in response to an Islamist crackdown orchestrated by UAE’s worldly state confidence apparatus.

Qatar, as Wilson remarkable in his article, has irritated a neighbours by permitting al Jazeera, al Qaradawi and a Muslim Brotherhood to be upheld by Qatar’s endless financial resources.

It now faces intensity sanctions from Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain has even called for a GCC to be separate adult – unless Qatar shuts down a al-Jazeera TV network, ejects al-Qaradawi and stops support for Islamists.

While sly Qatar is penetrating to say a understanding position of a Brotherhood, it’s misleading either leisure of countenance comes into play or if there are wider geopolitical considerations during play.

More expected it is a latter – analysts greeting to a Qatar Investment Fund’s intense estimation of Qatar’s “liberal” values has been muted.

“Qatar might be a freer multitude than some of it’s neighbours, though this is frequency a useful measure,” says David Wearing, a PhD claimant and Gulf Expert during SOAS University in London.

“Objectively, it is an strict monarchy; not liberal, and positively not democratic. Some space exists in Qatar for critique of other informal governments, though not of a Doha regime itself.”

Wearing forked to a box of Mohammed al-Ajami who was condemned to fifteen years seizure in Oct 2013, for “insulting a emir.”

Nader Hassan, a highbrow during a University of South Alabama, thinks a op-ed might fit into a broader PR account that is sanitising Qatar’s tellurian rights reputation.

“Qatar has been personification a really sublime open family game,” he told Index, “portraying itself as a guide of giveaway debate and press leisure in a region.”

“Compared to a some-more absolute neighbor, Saudi Arabia, this might be true. However, there are poignant restrictions on press leisure in Qatar.

“Al Jazeera, for example, roughly never carries any vicious pieces on Qatar, such as a abuse of migrant workers.”

Hassan certified that some Al Jazeera pieces lucky honesty and journalistic professionalism- though resolved that job a network “liberal” was “far from a truth.”

This essay was posted on 21 Mar 2014 during indexoncensorship.org

About Alastair Sloan

Alastair Sloan is a London-based publisher essay about injustice, politics and general affairs. His work appears frequently in The Guardian, The Independent, The Huffington Post, Policy Mic (columnist) and Index on Censorship.

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