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At some level people have to take action (governments cannot always take action)

Reader comment on item: Examining Qatar's Influence

Submitted by Prashant, Jan 31, 2019 at 21:13

Dear Dr Pipes,

In the past you have written articles praising Dubai (http://www.danielpipes.org/16387/will-dubai-good-times-last). When I began to read your article about Qatar, I thought you will say something positive that I did not know about. I do not know enough about the difference between Dubai and Qatar. I was surprised to note that your opinion about Qatar differs from your opinion of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. No fault of yours. I just do not know all differences between the two societies. I will recognize the differences when Dubai becomes a secular democracy.

At one level what Qatar is doing is hardly bad. You see, when England was rich and powerful it gave the world BBC and, thus, propagated the English way of thinking around the world. By propagating Al-Jazeera Qatar is doing the same. Even the fact that Al-Jazeera mixes coverage about popular liberal causes (transgender, immigration) with its own agenda (criticism of Israel and Trump Administration) can be understood; Qatar has money and they are using their money to suit their purpose.

But there is more to it. We live in the world of ideas and only the better ideas should survive. I think the ideas that Qatar is trying to propagate are bad. Propagating Islamic cause without being objective about Islam is bad. Criticizing Israel single-mindedly is also bad. But we can not teach these lessons to Qatar. When free money comes to a university, it is too much to expect that they will decline it. Even professors like to get rich after all!

I think eventually the burden falls on people. Governments cannot do everything for the people. I, personally, do not do any financial transactions with theocratic regimes. You show me a product made in Qatar, I wont buy it. You give me a discount to fly the Qatar Airlines, I wont fly. etc etc.

Many times when I read an article by a western academic written in favor of Islamic causes, I check how often the speaker visited one of these countries. And if I can find that the academic has accepted a major grant from a theocracy, the credibility of the person takes a downward shift.

Some will say that mine is a losing battle but I will rather fight it than not fight it. When I see signs of secular democracy and objectivity emerging in these societies, I will wholeheartedly support them. The world judges Islam by Islamic standards. If we start judging Islam by modern secular standards, there is much left to be desired. I want to do that.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (12) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1There Ought To Be A Law [114 words]DaveFeb 2, 2019 12:03247480
2At some level people have to take action (governments cannot always take action) [427 words]PrashantJan 31, 2019 21:13247458
3Absurdity of Afghanistan's Constitution [483 words]PrashantFeb 3, 2019 15:12247458
1Qatar etc [115 words]AnonFeb 4, 2019 12:21247458
2Qatar and the West [123 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
dhimmi no moreJan 31, 2019 07:11247442
"Warriors at Suez Eisenhower Takes America into The Middle East" Nasser, Israel, The West and the Muslim Brotherhood [281 words]dhimmi no moreFeb 1, 2019 06:51247442
Qatar per capita [60 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AnonJan 30, 2019 22:10247436
A very good question and a very good answer. [15 words]PrashantFeb 1, 2019 18:10247436
Re: Qatar per capita [74 words]AnonFeb 3, 2019 10:09247436
Expectations - of a Greater Sort [166 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MToveyJan 30, 2019 18:35247431
Expectations of Hope Where Hope Is Not Sought Through Hudna [275 words]MToveyFeb 4, 2019 11:37247431
Were Expectations Fulfilled on the 6th? [87 words]MToveyFeb 7, 2019 19:08247431

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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