Washington – Ali Gomaa, a former Grand Mufti in Egypt, has publicly predicted the demise of Qatar and its people within two years during a speech delivered in Cairo Wednesday night.
While the rest of the world focuses on finding a solution to the Qatar crisis, Gomaa is likening the Qatari people to the Khawarij, an ancient political movement whose members were virtually wiped out by those he claims were ancestors of present-day Emiratis during the early days of Islam. In the centuries since, Khawarij have since become synonymous with the word “traitor.”
“Qutri ibn Fujaa was the imam of the Khawarij and it was after him that Qatar was named,” said Gomaa, adding that the royal Qatari family al-Thani were his descendants.
In an interesting example of tailoring history to suit a chosen perspective, Gomaa credits Qutri’s defeat to an “Emirati man” called Muhalab ibn Sufra. This despite the fact that the UAE would not exist until thirteen hundred years later.
“After only two years, Qutri and the Khawarij were completely exterminated,” he continued. The word Khawarij is now commonly used by modern scholars for groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaeda.
“It is as if they were inherited genes or that history is repeating itself,” Gomaa told his audience. “So learn this well… we have just two years to wait.”
On Wednesday, Qatar received another threat from a Saudi journalist, who invoked the memory of the Rabaa massacre of 2013, wishing the same fate to befall Qatar. Hundreds of protesters were killed in Rabaa, Egypt, when they were protesting against the coup that toppled against President, Mohamed Mosri.
At the time, Human Rights Watch counted the number of protesters killed at more than 1,500. In one night and one location alone, the Rabaa al-Adawiya square, approximately 817 protesters were fatally shot.
During the bloody event, Gomaa encouraged a violent reaction against the protesters saying, “Shoot them in the heart. Blessed are those who kill them… We must cleanse our Egypt from these riffraff… they are hypocrites and secessionists.”
The inflammatory remarks come at what is possibly the most delicate time during the Gulf crisis, widely described as the worst in the region in years. The trouble for Qatar began June 4 when six Gulf countries, led by Saudi Arabia, announced their intention to sever all diplomatic ties with their “brotherly” neighbor. That was quickly followed by economic isolation in the form of a trade blockade, which began almost immediately.
The blockade countries alleged that Qatar was funding terrorism and engaged in a relationship with arch enemy, Iran, which was closer than they liked. Qatar denied the charges from the start, vigorously defending itself and its record in fighting terror, claiming the United States can back up that record. The allegations have since been proven to be unfounded, prompting many to believe the reasons for the blockade to be more closely related to an intense dislike for Qatar’s foreign policy.
On June 22, amid much international frustration over delays, Saudi Arabia presented Qatar with the blockade’s list of 13 demands which included the complete shutdown of state-funded network, Al Jazeera, a significant scaling down of Qatar’s relationship with Iran and the closure of a Turkish military base in the country.
So far, Qatar has categorically refused to consider a response to the demands, which it calls unworkable, until the blockade countries provide clear and transparent proof of the allegations they have made. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have vowed their list of demands is “non-negotiable,” leading to an inevitable stalemate which has yet to be reasoned through.