02 October 2014
The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are locked in a propaganda war with public relations agencies and front organisations as proxies that is backfiring on both Gulf states.
Disclosures of the proxy war have hit Qatar at a time that its image as the host of the 2022 World Cup is under renewed fire. In contrast to Qatar, the UAE has sought to counter revelations about its efforts to shore up its image through the creation of a network of human rights groups and negatively influence international media coverage of Qatar by touting the fact that its lead fighter pilot in allied attacks on ISIS (Islamic State of Syria and Sham), the jihadist group that controls a swath of Iraq and Syria, is a woman.
Tension between long-standing rivals Qatar and the UAE have been mounting for more than a year.
The UAE has detained and/or sentenced Qatari nationals on charges of espionage, one of which has been dubbed a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. It also earlier this year withdrew its ambassador to Doha alongside the envoys of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The rupture in diplomatic relations was part of a so far failed effort to force Qatar to halt its support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
…James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 03/10/2014