‘Islam Can’t Be Modernised’ Says World’s ‘Greatest Arabic Poet’

Jorge Guerrero/AFP/GettyImages

Jorge Guerrero/AFP/GettyImages

Breitbart, by Chris Tomlinson, Feb. 19, 2016:

The writer regarded as the greatest Arabic language poet alive today has said Islam cannot be modernised.

Adunis Asbar, known by his pen name Adonis, is a Syrian-born writer often considered one of the greatest living poets of the Arabic language. He has come under criticism for comments he made recently about Islam before receiving the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize, named after the famous pacifist and author of the classic World War One novel ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’.

In an interview with Die Welt he talked about one of the most pressing issues in Germany since the migrant crisis began, the idea of being able to integrate migrants from predominately Muslim countries into European societies.

Being raised a Muslim himself and having one of the greatest understandings of the language of the Quran, Adonis said: “You can not reform a religion. If they are reformed, [the original meaning] is separated from it. Therefore, modern Muslims and a modern Islam is already impossible. If there is no separation between religion and state, there will be no democracy especially without equality for women. Then we will keep a theocratic system. So it will end.”

Laying down a heavy critique of the Islamic world, he added: “Arabs have no more creative force. Islam does not contribute to intellectual life, it suggests no discussion. It is no longer thought. It produces no thinking, no art, no science, no vision that could change the world. This repetition is the sign of its end. The Arabs will continue to exist, but they will not make the world better.”

The remarks are in reference to the broader questions of how he sees the Middle East, and specifically his native Syria which has been in a state of civil war for years. Adonis describes the totality of Islam in the life of people in the Islamic world saying Muslim society is “based on a totalitarian system. The religion dictates everything: How to run, how to go to the toilet, who one has to love…”

Initially seemingly reluctant to condemn the Assad regime, he did write an open letter to Bashar Assad asking him to step down. However, this also angered rebel sympathisers when he referred to Assad as the elected President of Syria. Adonis said: “But I’ve also written a second letter, which was addressed to the revolutionaries. I have asked for their vision. But they would not read it, because they are not independent.”

He went on to say the rebels were controlled by interests in America, Saudi Arabia and certain sections of Europe, and stessed:

“I have long been an opponent of Assad. The Assad regime has transformed the country into a prison. But his opponents, the so-called revolutionaries, commit mass murder, cut people’s heads off, sell women in cages as goods and trample human dignity underfoot.”

Adonis was referring to the Islamic State and the Al-Nusra front (an Al Qaeda affiliate) who have become the largest opposition force to Assad over the course of the civil war.

Breitbart London has already reported that attempts to house and integrate Muslim migrants will cost Germans and other European countries billions of euros, and according to Adonis’ opinion it could be a useless endeavour.

When asked if he receives death threats from radical Islamists Adonis said: “Of course, but I do not care. For certain convictions people should risk their lives.”

ISIS PREPARES TO ATTACK ISRAEL IN NORTH AND SOUTH PINCER MOVEMENT

ISIS-propaganda-video-AFP

Breitbart, by CHRISS W. STREET, Dec, 24, 2014:

With ISIS continuing to hold the upper hand in Syria and Iraq, it appears that the terrorist network is planning what military strategists call a pincer movement to attack the Israeli homeland from the north and south. Three Syrian rebel groups switched loyalties to gain ISIS support for attacks on the Israeli occupied Golan Heights, according to a report by the Fiscal Times. ISIS is now able to coordinate with Egyptian ISIS-aligned terror group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis in Sinai to simultaneously pressure Israel’s northern and southern borders.

As of Dec. 11, 2014, the total cost of U.S. operations against ISIS since aerial bombing missions began on August 8, 2014 is about $2 billion and the current daily cost is $8.1 million, according to data released by a Pentagon spokesman Commander Bill Urban.

Although the U.S. led Coalition Joint Task Force named “Operation Inherent Resolve” claims to have impacted ISIS command and control, resupply and maneuvering in Iraq and Syria, the number of ISIS fighters is still growing rapidly. No one is claiming that the bombing has slowed down ISIS recruiting of foreign fighters.

As a testament on the difficulty of using planes to fight ISIS on the ground, after hundreds of aerial sorties in the strategic border town of Kobani, only 50 ISIS fighters have been killed. The PR value of being “at war” with the U.S. continues to swell ISIS regional and international ranks.

Despite huge amounts of CIA support to the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army, large numbers of moderate rebels armed and trained by the United States in northern Syrian Idlib Province either surrendered or defected in November to the al-Qaeda Jabhat affiliated al-Nusra Front. ISIS and al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, are now the overwhelmingly dominant rebel groups in the country.

An Iraqi field commander said last week that U.S. military forces had their first ground combat clash with ISIS warriors on December 16, when they had to come to the aid of Iraqi Army unit. After what was trumpeted as six weeks of defeats in Iraq, ISIS is making gains across the western province of al-Anbar, threatening to defeat the Iraqi military forces and their Sunni tribal allies to take control of all of eastern Syria and western Iraq.

Al-Yarmuk Martyrs Brigade has controlled an area near the Jordan-Israel border for two years and has been regularly bombed by Israel Defense Forces and taken UN peace-keeping hostages several times. But fearing the loss of clout in southern Syria, Al-Nusra attacked the headquarters of their former allies, the al-Yarmuk Martyrs Brigade, in early December. Al-Yarmuk and two smaller groups with hundreds of fighters near the Golan Heights repelled the attacks, and then pledged allegiance last week to ISIS, which they say has replaced Al-Qaeda as the future of Islam.

ISIS has been criticized by many Arabs and Sunni extremists for fighting Muslims instead of making war on Israel. A coordinated attack on Israel would be a PR bonanza for ISIS’s popularity and undoubtedly would spur recruitment and funding efforts. Most of ISIS’s top military commanders are former senior officers in Saddam Hussein’s million man army. Facing the U.S. in the 1991 First Gulf War, Saddam hurled hundreds of Scud missiles at Israel in an effort to inflame the entire Middle East by goading the Jewish State into the Gulf War.

ISIS has proven that air power alone cannot defeat their network. Luring Israel to make a preemptive ground attack against ISIS and declare the Caliphate as Israel’s main adversary would quickly undermine the stated and unstated Arab support against ISIS from Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia for Operation Inherent Resolve.

Israel has used its highly capable air force to attack southern Syria many times since the beginning of Syrian Civil War in 2011. In June 2013, when Austria withdrew its 370 UN peacekeepers from the Golan Heights due to deteriorating security conditions, Israel was forced to move in tanks and heavy weapons to engage Syrian rebels.

A senior Israeli officer earlier this week said that in response to al-Yarmuk declaring loyalty to ISIS, the IDF has regrouped and reinforced its forces in the southern Golan Heights, according to A-Sharq Al-Awsat and Lebanese media. The action follows the Israeli Army’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps “Vulture” battalion week-long Golan Heights maneuvers in late November.

State Department Testimony: Rebels Cannot Defeat Assad

homs-syria-rebel-reutersBreitbart, by FRANCES MARTEL:

The Islamic State has gained momentum in both Syria and Iraq while allegedly “moderate” groups against President Bashar al-Assad in the former nation have suffered increasing setbacks. With the outlook dire, even the U.S. State Department is admitting that a military overthrow of Assad appears far from a viable reality.

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, senior State Department official Brett McGurk said the State Department “do not see a situation in which the rebels are able to remove [Assad] from power,” instead noting that Assad’s removal would have to be a “democratic” process.

The admission raises questions regarding President Obama’s continued push to arm and support “moderate” rebels against Assad, citing the use of chemical weapons against civilians, among other human rights violations. The President initially allowed for weapons to reach Syrian rebels who were considered “moderate” in June 2013, in response to allegations and accrued evidence that Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians. At the time, a poll found that 70% of Americans opposed the President’s action.

A year later, Assad appeared nowhere closer to falling, yet the President once again called arming moderate rebels– this time engaging Congress. The President and Congress finally agreed to a $500 million program to train and arm rebels vetted to be moderate.

At the moment, the program is not expected to begin until March, according to Foreign Policy. It aims to train 5,000 rebels per year, but many have criticized it as a slow reaction to a crisis that is bleeding millions of refugees into the outside world a day, not counting those displaced within Syria. A particularly troubling report this week from McClatchyindicates that there is currently little to no support to rebels on the ground from the United States at all– many rebel leaders say they have received nothing– leaving unanswered questions as to where the funding has been going.

Meanwhile, both Assad and the Islamic State have been making gains, as well as the Syrian jihadist group the Al Nusra Front. Al-Nusra, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda, alleged this week that they had used a United Nations vehicle in a terrorist attack in Syria, a milestone for the group’s fight against the West. In Jordan and Afghanistan, the Islamic State’s popularity is only growing, posing the serious danger of a new influx of foreign jihadis into the Syrian war theater.

President Assad remains in power, with increasing confidence. In a recent interview with Paris Match magazine, Assad went so far as to blame the United States for the creation of ISIS, and call airstrikes against ISIS targets within Syria by US and coalition forces “illegal,” despite the consensus that they have helped his army. Of his own rule, Assad remained confident that “we as Syrians will never accept that Syria become a western puppet state”– which is to say, accept his removal from power as long as the United States has a role to play.

The situation leaves reasonable doubt regarding the potential for rebel groups to remove Assad, making McGurk’s comments an almost necessary reality from the State Department. Nonetheless, such comments do not appear to be currently interfering with President Obama’s plans to spend $500 million on training and arming rebels that even his State Department see little potential for victory in.

Also see:

US-Backed Syrian Rebels Ally with Al-Qaeda in South, Surrender CIA-Supplied Weapons in the North

Syrian rebels pause for prayers in Dara province, in the country's south, in the spring, in an opposition-provided photo. Rebels in the province are fighting to hold onto a strategic crossroads. (Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad) http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-south-violence-20141130-story.html

Syrian rebels pause for prayers in Dara province, in the country’s south, in the spring, in an opposition-provided photo. Rebels in the province are fighting to hold onto a strategic crossroads. (Syrian Revolution Against Bashar Assad)
http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-syria-south-violence-20141130-story.html

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, December 2, 2014:

For months I’ve been reporting here at PJ Media about the ongoing cooperation between US-backed “vetted moderate” Syrian rebel units and designated terrorist groups ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria. This includes U.S.-backed rebel units who have defected wholesale to ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Despite multiple reports of this cooperation, in September the congressional GOP leadership jumped on board with Obama’s proposal to spend an additional $500 million to arm and train the “vetted moderates” just weeks before the Obama administration abandoned the Free Syrian Army that had been the primary beneficiary of U.S. support for the past three years.

Now reports this weekend indicate growing cooperation between U.S.-backed rebels and Jabhat al-Nusra operating in southern Syria.

According to the LA Times:

Opposition activists reported intensified government bombardment in and around Sheik Maskin and the arrival of battle-tested loyalist reinforcements.

Fighting along with U.S.-backed rebels were elements of Al Nusra Front, the official Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria.

In a Facebook posting, Al Nusra supporters reported “vicious battles” in the Sheik Maskin area. Earlier posts also eulogized a prominent Al Nusra commander, Abu Humam Jazrawi, who was killed in the fighting.

Al Nusra’s participation illustrates how Western-supported rebel groups often cooperate with the Al Qaeda franchise, though both sides try to play down the extent of coordination. Recent clashes between Al Nusra Front and U.S.-backed rebels in northwestern Syria do not appear to have broken the de facto alliance between the Al Qaeda affiliate and West-backed fighters in the south. (emphasis added)

Meanwhile, in northern Syria as “vetted moderate” groups were forming an umbrella with hardcore jihadist groups, such as Ahrar al-Sham, other U.S.-backed units were surrendering to Jabhat al-Nusra (a trend I noted last month) and turning over their CIA-provided arms to Ahrar al-Sham, McClatchy reports:

On Friday, as the groups were meeting here, the Nusra Front stormed the bases of two moderate rebel groups in Syria’s north: the Ansar Brigades in Idlib and the Haqq Front in Hama. The two groups, both of which were receiving U.S. support through a covert CIA program, surrendered to Nusra, delivered their weapons to Ahrar al Sham and returned to their homes. (emphasis added)

And today Syria analyst Aron Lund noted that the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army signed an agreement last week with Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham for the Qalamoun area near the Lebanese border guaranteeing the imposition of sharia and creating a mutual defense pact.

The “vetted moderate” follies continue.

Inside Iran’s Middle East: The Southeast Insurgency

ITSP logo by :

In this second installment of our Inside Iran’s Middle East series we will be covering the bloody campaign the Iranian regime’s IRGC-Ground Forces Command has been waging in the Northwestern and Southeastern parts of the country.  In the first installment, we covered the regime’s use of “reformers” to keep the west off-balance so that they can further their nuclear weapons program and eliminate the opposition.  We won’t be talking about the toothless “Green Revolution” or the Monarchists or MeK living in exile abroad.  No, we will be discussing the only viable opposition in the country in these next two installments:  the Balochs and the Kurds.

Inside Iran’s Middle East:  The “Reformers”

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/10/26/inside-irans-middle-east-the-reformers/

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IRGC-Qods Force personnel in the Sacred Defense Week pass and review for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameini (2013)

Source:  Fars News Agency

We will start with the insurgency taking place in the Southeastern part of Iran.  In this part of Iran, the dominate rebel group is Jundalla or “Soldiers of God.”  This is the group of ethnic Baloch fighters.  Their goal is the establishment of a “greater Balochistan” that consists of Southeastern Iran, all of Southern Afghanistan and Southwestern Pakistan.  The organization was founded by Abdul Malik Rigi and his brother Abdul Hamid Rigi, and have between 700-2,000 active fighters with many more reported to be in Afghanistan and Pakistan operating in a “reserve” or support capacity. Financing of operations is done through the narcotics trade, opium specifically.  As a result, Iran has been fighting its very own “War on Drugs” along the border with Afghanistan’s Nimroz Province.

Profile: Iran’s Jundullah militants

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8314431.stm

Iraq’s shadow on Balochistan

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/EA25Df01.html

Waking up to the war in Balochistan

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17182978

Karzai Admits Balochistan Unrest Emanating From Afghanistan, Claims Malik

http://tribune.com.pk/story/345413/karzai-admits-balochistan-unrest-emanating-from-afghanistan-claims-malik/

jundallah

Jundallah Fighters

Source:  al-Arabiya

Jundallah was formed in 2003, but the group really put itself on the map in 2005 when it ambushed then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s motorcade in Baluchistan Province that resulted in the death of one bodyguard and several more injured.  The following year would see an incident involving Jundallah fighters blocking the main road near the town of Tasooki leaving 21 civilians killed. The year 2007 would see Jundallah increase the frequency and sophistication of their attacks throughout Zahedan, starting with a VBIED attack in 14 FEB 07 targeting an IRGC convoy that resulted in 18 IRGC killed.  Jundallah would follow up two days later by bombing a girls school in Zahedan City.  What came next was mass abductions of Iranian truck drivers, who were brought to one of their bases inside Pakistan.  The Pakistani Army would later free them.  However, this would not stop the Iranian regime from accusing the Pakistani government of providing material support to Jundallah fighters.

Sunni group vows to behead Iranians

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2006/jan/16/20060116-124019-6619r/

Leader of the Jundallah Movemement, Abd Al-Malek Al-Rigi: We Train Fighters in the Mountains and Send Them into Iran

http://www.memritv.org/clip_transcript/en/1897.htm

Foreign devils in the Iranian mountains

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IB24Ak01.html

Guns smuggling on the rise in Balochistan

http://centralasiaonline.com/en_GB/articles/caii/features/pakistan/2010/04/09/feature-01

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the late-Jundallah Leader Abdul Malik Rigi

Source:  al-Jazeera

The truth is Jundallah did receive support from the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by having fighters train at terrorist camps run by the intelligence organization (it is important to note that the ISI has been operating on its own agenda separate from that of the actual government – more on that in a future article).  The Rigi brothers spent the 2005-2009 time period cultivating ties with the Afghan Taliban, Pakistani Taliban (TTP) and al-Qaida senior leadership.  A quid pro quo deal was made where Jundallah fighters would continue to receive training, material support and AQ embeds in exchange for assistance in facilitating the travel of senior leaders across the AF-PAK border. Jundallah also assisted AQ in financing their operations through the drug trade by helping them secure the logistical supply routes.  The AQ operatives who spent time embedded with Jundallah in Southeastern Iran would later become the core of what we know today as the “Khorasan Group,” the special cell AQ senior leadership established to handle “sensitive operations.”

As a whole the American mainstream media got it completely wrong about KG, because they were not in Iran to “work with the Iranians” – they were there to kill Iranians.  In fact, KG leader Muhsin al-Fadhli (who is very much alive contrary to Western media reports) was the point-man for this endeavor.  Fadhli was able to go wherever he pleased with the assistance of Jundallah fighters who had a well-established safe-house network in that part of the country. More importantly, he’s  one of the AQ operatives that has a great deal of experience fighting the Iranian military (thanks to his time spent fighting alongside Jundallah).  The AQ senior leadership decision to deploy Fadhli and an element of KG to Syria was a bid to revitalize al-Nusra Front efforts to regain the initiative against the Assad regime, the IRGC-Qods Force and Basij Resistance Force units supporting regime forces.

The History and Capabilities Of The Khorasan Group

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/09/27/khorasan-group-doesnt-exist/

The Khorasan Group:  Threat To The Homeland?

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/09/23/khorasan-group-dont-believe-hype/

Khorasan Group is a Bigger Threat Than ISIS?

http://internationalterrorismstudyproject.com/2014/09/14/us-government-syria-based-al-qaida-cell-bigger-threat-isis/

Report: Former head of al Qaeda’s network in Iran now operates in Syria

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/03/report_former_head_o.php

Who supports Jundallah?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2009/10/jundallah.html

Read more at ITSProject

Israel Prepares For When Syrian Jihadis Turn Their Guns South

by Yaakov Lappin
Special to IPT News
October 13, 2014

1072If you ask Israeli defense officials today about Islamic State (IS) and Al-Nusra Front members in Syria, and the risk they pose to Israel, expect one answer with two layers.

At present, the officials estimate, these radical Sunni jihadi elements do not pose an immediate threat to the Israeli border or to national security.

They are too busy fighting the army of Basher Assad, Shi’ite militias, and Hizballah, which has intervened on Assad’s side – not to mention other Syrian rebel groups.

Eventually, however, these organizations will pose a very real threat to Israel, and the smart thing to do is to prepare for it now, the officials say.

“We see them deployed along the Israeli border, but we don’t think they’re about to target Israel,” one senior army officer said in recent weeks. “I don’t see the Al-Nusra Front having an interest in attacking us now,” he added. On the other hand, Al Nusra has declared that when it finishes its war against the Assad regime, “the Jews’ turn will come. We are preparing,” the same officer noted.

Every morning, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must take a good look at the area in which a country called Syria once existed, and ask itself what has changed. On most days, it will find that a lot has.

In recent weeks, for example, Al-Qaida’s official branch in Syria, the Al-Nusra Front, played a lead role in seizing the Quneitra area, right on the Israeli border with the Golan Heights. The IDF’s Northern Command now sees Al-Nusra flags and fighters across the border, where it until recently saw Assad military positions and the old Syrian flags waving in the wind.

About 700 Al-Nusra Front members, as well as 1,300 rebels from other organizations, conquered Quneitra in September, and the Assad regime has been busy trying to take it back ever since – so far unsuccessfully.

Al-Nusra moved into Quneitra because it was pushed out of eastern Syria (from regions like Deir Ezzor) by its jihadi rival, the Islamic State, which has proclaimed a transnational Islamic caliphate.

Today, Islamic State members are located around 50 kilometers away from the Israeli border, and at some point, they will likely end up coming significantly closer.

Israeli military planners are not only watching the multitude of battles unfold in Syria – they also listen closely when Al-Nusra members say that their aim is to conquer Damascus first, and Jerusalem second. Such talk is taken very seriously. It prompts Israel to prepare quietly, and intensively.

It is only a matter of time until the guns of Sunni jihadis are turned towards Israel, according to the dominant view in the Israeli defense establishment. Meanwhile, both groups –Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State —are ideologically identical in their goal of creating a radical caliphate, are growing.

As they raid Syrian military bases, seize arms, and purchase additional weapons on the black market, both of these jihadi organizations are gaining all manner of weapons, from small arms to shoulder-held missile launchers to armored vehicles, and mortar cannons. It seems likely that both groups will be able to produce their own weapons, such as rockets, in the near future as well.

Some of the steps Israel has already taken to get ready for the jihadis in Syria include mobilizing a new division to the Golan Heights, and giving it the ability to rapidly deploy air power and artillery strikes, in just a few minutes.

The new division relies heavily on enhanced Israeli intelligence monitoring of the Syrian sector. It is training for potential rapid ground force deployment into Syria if necessary, to respond to terrorist attacks, whether they take the form of projectiles, hostile intrusions, or border bombings.

Other steps include last year’s completion of a new hi-tech fence along the border, complete with a range of sensors that provide army controllers with input on suspicious movements.

The multi-sensory system, dubbed “Mars in Israel,” is used by the IDF’s Combat Intelligence Collection Corps. It sends a variety of feeds from the border, such as cameras, radars, and other devices that are classified.

Additionally, the IDF sees air defense systems, like Iron Dome and David’s Sling, playing key roles in protecting northern Israel from potential future Syrian threats.

The IDF is also able to order its Artillery Corps to fire precision guided Tamuz surface to surface missiles, for accurate strikes on targets in Syria.

In addition to military power, Israel is also seeking to foster a friendlier attitude among Syrians who live near the border. Approximately 1,300 Syrians injured in the civil war have received treatment in Israeli hospitals, which helps in achieving this goal.

Such measures might mitigate the threat somewhat, but a clash with radical jihadis in the future remains a near certainty.

An additional danger lies in the likelihood that Syria will act as a jihad production center, sending radicalized terrorists out all over the region.

This development could result in regional jihadi networks stretching from the Sinai Peninsula (home to Al-Qaida-linked groups like Beit Al-Maqdes) to Iraq and Syria, where the Islamic State continues to consolidate its control.

Today, these forces are busy engaging enemies nearer to home, but tomorrow, their ideology will very likely place them on a collision path with the Middle East’s sole Jewish state.

Yaakov Lappin is the Jerusalem Post’s military and national security affairs correspondent, and author of The Virtual Caliphate (Potomac Books), which proposes that jihadis on the internet have established a virtual Islamist state.

What will it take for us to stop doing business with Qatar?

UN-GENERAL ASSEMBLY-QATAR

We’ve let the desert state face both ways on funding extremism.

The Spectator, Simon Heffer, 4 October 2014:

On 17 June, a meeting of the Henry Jackson Society, held in the House of Commons, discussed (according to the minutes published on the society’s website) how a tribal elder in northern Cameroon who runs a car import business in Qatar has become one of the main intermediaries between kidnappers from Boko Haram and its offshoot Ansaru and those seeking to free hostages. It was alleged that embezzlement of funds going to Qatar via car imports might be disguising ransom payments. It was also alleged that Qatar was involved in financing Islamist militant groups in West Africa, helping with weapons and ideological training, and (with Saudi Arabia) funding the building of mosques in Mali and Nigeria that preach a highly intolerant version of Islam.

This was far from the only time such accusations have been levelled. Yet Qatar is supposed to be one of our allies, supporting air strikes against the Islamic State. Its ruler even thinks his enormous wealth entitles him to blag his way into Her Majesty’s carriage at Royal Ascot. Given Qatar’s questionable role in the current tide of savage Islamism, should its ruler be allowed anywhere near our Queen? And should they be allowed to buy up our country, as they have done relentlessly since the crash of 2008?

After the overthrow of President Morsi of Egypt, Qatar became a place of refuge for the Muslim Brotherhood. However, on 12 September it asked several leading Brotherhood figures to leave. They duly did, not in outrage or indignation, but apologising for causing embarrassment. Clearly, they felt a debt to the Qataris, and a senior Brotherhood spokesman, Amr Darrag, said what it was. He issued a statement thanking Qataris for their support to ‘the Egyptian people in their revolution against the military junta’.

Qatar asked its former friends to leave because of pressure applied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some may come to London: there is already a group of Brotherhood members in Cricklewood, under scrutiny from the authorities. But even now, Qatar remains home to an array of exiled Islamists, and thus a focus of suspicion to its neighbours. Bahrain joined Saudi Arabia and the UAE in withdrawing its ambassador from Doha this spring. It has been widely reported that Qatari money funds extremists in Libya, and when these ambassadors were recalled, the Zionist Organisation of America asked the US government to declare Qatar a state sponsor of terrorism.

The Emir of Qatar’s personal fortune and the country’s sovereign wealth fund are rumoured to amount to £50 billion. Qataris own substantial amounts of real estate — such as the Shard, the Olympic Village, One Hyde Park, a part of Canary Wharf, the United States Embassy building in Grosvenor Square, the Chelsea Barracks development and Harrods. They have large stakes in the stock exchange, Sainsburys and Barclays bank. Almost all Britain’s liquefied natural gas comes from Qatar, accounting for a quarter of our gas needs. The desert state has also bought the 2022 World Cup — rather like playing a cricket Test series at the South Pole — in a fashion so seemingly corrupt that there have been widespread calls for a boycott.

Sir John Jenkins, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has compiled a report exposing extremist activity among members of the Brotherhood and their links to jihadis. It named three Muslim charities in Britain that seemed to be sending funds to extremists in the Middle East. At the very least this should lead Britain to expel members of the Brotherhood, close down the charities and sequester their funds; but the problem will never be dealt with until the source of the funding is cut off. At some stage the British government must ask itself a simple question: however much we want Qatari gas, how much longer can we permit commercial relations with such people?

In June the American magazine The Atlantic asserted that Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qa’eda proxy in Syria, had somehow received ‘Qatar’s economic and military largesse’. There is no suggestion this was sanctioned or funded by the Qatari government: but every suggestion it came from interest groups based in Qatar and wealthy Qatari nationals. The problem has been around for years. Wikileaks published a memorandum from Hillary Clinton, when US secretary of state, saying Qatar had the worst record of counter-terrorism co-operation of any ally of the United States.

The Qatari foreign minister, Khalid al-Attiyah, called claims such as The Atlantic’s ‘Qatar-bashing’, and denied the country or anyone in it was bankrolling IS. Certainly, most of the evidence for IS’s funding points to groups and individuals in Saudi Arabia. However, Saudi Arabia may provide training camps for anti-IS groups from Syria approved by the Americans. In response to a US request for similar assistance, the Qataris said it would be ‘premature’. Meanwhile, the Americans continue to accuse Qatar and Kuwait of being ‘permissive environments’ for the funding of terrorism, and believe Qatar has unhealthily close links with Jabhat al-Nusra. Certainly, Mr Attiyah has sought to play down its activities by pointing instead to atrocities committed by those loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

Israel has driven America’s scepticism over Qatar, accusing it of funding Hamas and of exporting terror not just through Jabhat al-Nusra but through IS. A German minister, Gerd Müller, then said that when the question was raised about funding IS, ‘The key word there is Qatar.’ This brought an immediate repudiation from the Qataris, who argued they had been among the first to condemn the beheading of the murdered American hostage James Foley.

However, the Americans — whose largest base in the Middle East is, ironically, at Al Udeid in Doha — believe Qatar has funded extremists not merely in Syria and Libya but also in Tunisia, Mali and Iraq. Another Wikileaks cable revealed Meir Degan, a former head of Mossad, telling the US that ‘Qatar is trying to cosy up to everyone’, and warning America to close its bases there.

Qatar’s pretence that it is an honest broker in the Middle East, attempting to see all sides of an argument, may wash in Doha. It won’t, however, resonate in countries such as Britain and America whose citizens are targeted by jihadis financed by people who may be Qataris, and who have enjoyed Qatari hospitality. Qatar needs to be reminded that the civilised parts of the world with which it does business won’t tolerate apologists for savage extremists. It can’t face both ways on this. Britain must expel members of the Brotherhood and sequester their funds. And it must tell Qatar that unless it stops turning a blind eye to some of its people funding murder and extremism, and stops equivocating about extremists, its assets will be frozen and trade with it suspended until it does.

Simon Heffer, is a columnist for the Daily Mail and a former deputy editor of The Spectator.