Qatar rejects claims it backs Islamic State

Dubai - The Gulf nation of Qatar is hitting back at suggestions that it supports the Islamic State extremist group, saying that "determined, collective action" is needed to end sectarian violence gripping Iraq and Syria.

The energy-rich Opec member has come under renewed scrutiny over its ties to militants, including the Palestinian Hamas and Syrian rebel groups.

A German official last week suggested that Qatar may also play a role in funding the Islamic State group, which is fighting in Iraq and Syria and was behind the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley.

Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohammed al-Attiyah unequivocally denied funding the extremist group.

"Qatar does not support extremist groups, including Isis [IS], in any way," he said in an emailed statement dated on Saturday, using an alternative name for the group.

"We are repelled by their views, their violent methods and their ambitions. The vision of extremist groups for the region is one that we have not, nor will ever, support in any way."

Qatar was one of the first Middle Eastern countries to condemn Foley's murder, saying it was "a heinous crime that goes against all Islamic and humanitarian principles, as well as international laws and conventions."

The tiny Gulf emirate has supported Syrian rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. The Islamic State group is battling Assad's forces, but it has also clashed with other rebel groups that don't embrace its extreme interpretation of Islam.

The group has carved out a self-declared Islamic state, or caliphate, taking in wide expanses of territory on both sides of the Syria-Iraq border.

Experts say the group generates at least some of its funding from kidnapping, extortion and other criminal business enterprises. Germany's development minister, Gerd Mueller, on Wednesday suggested that Qatar could also be supporting the group.

In a television interview with public broadcaster ZDF, Mueller said it was important to examine who is financing the group, and that "the key word is Qatar".

German officials quickly tried to smooth over that allegation.

Mueller spokesperson Katharina Maenz told reporters Friday that he had merely been referring to media reports about Qatar's involvement.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Martin Schafer said German diplomats in the Qatari capital Doha had met with Qatari officials to reassure them that Berlin considers the country a partner and that "if there were misunderstandings then we regret this".

In his statement, al-Attiyah said the killing of civilians and the forced flight of hundreds of thousands of people threatens both Iraq's existence and "the peace and security of the entire region". He called for collective action to end the sectarian violence raging in Iraq and Syria.

"There is no single answer but it must include cutting off the flow of funds to support extremist groups throughout the region," he said.

Qatar has also come under fire over its perceived support for Hamas.

The Gulf state is home to exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and is a key financial patron for the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls. Qatar denies financially backing Hamas, however, and has sought to play a role in brokering a truce to end fighting between the group and Israel.

The Qatari emir, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, last week held talks in Doha with Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah movement has strained relations with Hamas.

- AP
Read more on: opec is hamas bashar assad qatar
Bnet Jonas 2014-08-24 12:23:03 PM
They are trying to go the same is SA. I had a Muslim client and he had a map hanging on his wall of the Islamic world and South Africa is marked as an Islamic country.
Dietrich Berner 2014-08-24 12:41:04 PM
Hurray! At least one Islamic state does not support Hamas!
Shein Ariely 2014-08-24 12:47:08 PM
Qatar is using the famous Arabic doctrine named Takiyya- lying to infidels ir order to mask Islamist goals. --- Qatar funded the Islamist Hamas terrorists salaries> (Islamist Hamas is part of the Islamist worldwide network- including ISIL) (ISIL and Hamas have similar ideology and domination map) Qatar should not be included in any solution unless their funds will be transferred to a international organization that will fund and monitor only peace building projects. ------ Qatar transferred to Islamist Hamas terror organization 450 million dollars for the past 16 months. The fund was used to pay the salary of 40.000 Hamas terrorists. When Hamas empty the fund 3 month ago, some terrorists begin rubbings in Gaza. Hamas started the escalation by the 3 youth killings in Israel and increasing shells and rockets attacks on Israeli civilians
Alan Yates 2014-08-24 01:22:55 PM
The head of HAMAS (Remember them: the terrorists that do summary executions without due legal process) lives in Qatar. I wonder who pays his bills? Many Wealthy Arabs (grown rich on the West paying them for oil while Barak Hussein Obama kills the US coal industry and does not approve Keystone XL pipeline which will remove the need for the west to buy Oil to make Muslims rich so rich Muslims can pay for Jihad against the West) actually fund the IS. There is a 1400 year long global Islamic struggle by all Muslims to Islamize the whole world. Those in power are either blind to this or are corruptly cooperating (Like Havard, Oxford, Hillary Clinton with Huma Abedin who is a Muslim Brotherhood operative is her PA...etc). Islam does "financial" Jihad, "immigration" Jihad, "War-crime" Jihad, "Human shield" Jihad, "Kidnapping/rape/enslavement" Jihad, flying hijacked planes into towers "Jihad", beheading Lee-Rigby and Leftist Journalists "Jihad", Halaal Food Certification :Jihad", Mosque Building "Jihad", Ugly clothes "Jihad", anti-women-SHaria "Jihad", Mo Beard "Jihad" all across the world...Islam does not see all men as equal. It puts non-Muslims in permanent "Mushrikun"/"unclean"/"Bantustan" status. It also teaches that a Muslim lying and cheating to expand Islam is a good Muslim. Taqiya...Wish this were not true as Westerners are fair minded people but we can no longer afford the slow suicide of ignorance of those who hate the West and continue to Jihad against us.
Enig Ma 2014-08-24 01:41:40 PM
More muslims secretly financing death and destruction of non- muslims and attempting to pollute Mother Earth with their fanatic offspring.
Nithaam Moses 2014-08-24 01:45:54 PM
nice to c we have such alot of professors in sa.... lol
Nithaam Moses 2014-08-24 01:54:48 PM
y invole dubai....o i c . one of the ritches arab countries not invaded by usa..
Kelly O'Neill 2014-08-24 02:16:54 PM
Offcourse they would deny everything they are a Muslim state and nation its only their nature do deny and to decieve
Will Homeby 2014-08-24 03:14:30 PM
Comments from apartheid era apologist are insignificant.