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Qatar turns its back on the Muslim Brotherhood

Qatar continues to disassociate itself from the Islamists in an attempt to move closer to the Gulf states
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PHOTO/AFP  -   Combination of images of Turkish President and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Recep Tayyip and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Qatar has asked Muslim Brotherhood leaders to leave the country. This is not new for the Qatari country as Doha expelled dozens of leaders of the first and second class of Brotherhood leaders, headed by leader Essam Talima, and leader Mahmoud Hussein, who continues to lead the Brotherhood from Turkey.

In this regard, Turkey has joined the Qatari position and demanded that the Islamist group leave the country and "close their platforms" following Ankara's rapprochement with Egypt with the aim of improving and deepening diplomatic relations. This rapprochement is part of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government's plan to bring its influence closer to the Mediterranean coast and break the diplomatic deadlock it has been mired in for years. 

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AFP/KHALIL MAZRAAWI - Supporters of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood take part in a protest in the village of Sweimeh, near the Jordanian border with the occupied West Bank, 21 May 2021.

Turkey's rapprochement with Egypt, which considers the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, marks a turning point in the Islamist group's future in the region. Coupled with Qatar's stance, the Muslim Brotherhood is now left with less and less regional and international backing.

This is reiterated by political and Islamic group affairs expert Maher Farghali, who stated that Qatari security "instructed the employees of Al Araby and Al-Jazeera and some media companies affiliated with Al-Jazeera's management to modify the discourse and their media line". 

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AP/EBRAHIM NOROOOZI - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during his visit to Dubai Expo 2020 for the Turkish national day ceremony, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.

According to Farghali, Turkey would also take the same stance as Qatar "in expelling the organisation's members out of the country, especially as Ankara seeks rapprochement with several Arab countries". Turkey has also decided to set a date for its final expulsion, which is evidence of a new phase in Turkish foreign policy. 

On the other hand, different analysts suggest that it is possible that these leaders could disperse to different countries, including Malaysia, one of the destinations that could be more sympathetic to the Brotherhood. As for countries belonging to the European Union, they believe that the Netherlands could be another destination where Islamists could gather due to its high percentage of Muslim citizens.

The decline of the Muslim Brotherhood

More and more Arab countries are moving away from the strict policies of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptians, Moroccans, and Tunisians alike have abandoned the group's policies and moved away from its ideology. In Tunisia, the ousting of the Ennahda party underlined Tunisians' opposition to the Islamists, accusing them of "sowing hatred and chaos". 

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PHOTO/AFP - Combination of images of Turkish President and leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Recep Tayyip Recep Tayyip and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Meanwhile, in Morocco, the Justice and Development Party suffered a crushing defeat in the last elections after winning only 12 of the 395 seats. In the aftermath of the elections, Moroccans argued that "Islamists bring nothing but misery and corruption". Thus, in countries where the Muslim Brotherhood once managed to gain a foothold in national politics, they now openly reject the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood in political and social circles.

These positions have been further strengthened by the rejection of Qatar and Turkey, countries where the Muslim Brotherhood found refuge. In this vein, Doha now seems to be looking towards the Gulf states, the bitter enemies of political Islam. With this stance, Qatar continues to dissociate itself from the policy advocated by the Brotherhood, a roadmap that is less and less supported by Arabs.