Jamal Khashoggi in an interview at CAF 2015 annual Forum - YouTube/
CAIRO – 31 October 2017: A Saudi journalist claimed that the boycott decision made by Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on June 5 against Qatar for supporting terrorism revolves around Egypt, and that the princedom can pay $4 billion to resolve the crisis.
The London-based writer Jamal Khashoggi made these statements in a BBC Arabic program called “Without Restrictions” on Saturday, sparking anger among many Arab writers and opinion leaders.
Emirati professor of political Science Abdulkhaleq Abdulla urged Khashoggi in a tweet to apologize for his statement.
Furthermore, Egyptian talk show host Amr Adeeb emphasized Egypt’s ability to fulfill its financial duties, which was epitomized in returning the value of bonds bought by Qatar and their interests on time, denying financial affairs are the reason behind the boycott.
Qatar had bought bonds issued by Egypt in 2013 under Morsi in the Irish Stock Exchange (ISE) with the value of $5.5 billion and an interest rate varying between three and 4.5 percent. The last installment of the debt, with the value of $1 billion, was paid in July 2016 amid a dramatic decrease in foreign reserves resulting in a currency flotation in November of the same year.
Khashoggi is a Saudi journalist, columnist, and author who was the editor-in-chief of Saudi newspaper Al Watan for two months in 2003. The newspaper, whose political alignment is Islamic and pro-reform, was founded in 2000. Khashoggi, who conducted a series of interviews with Osama bin Laden, was fired because of publishing articles tackling the powerful influence of the religious establishment in his homeland.
Khashoggi was also the editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel founded in 2012 and shut down in 2015. The channel’s headquarter was in the Qatari capital Doha and was owned by Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal.
Khashoggi described in a tweet the announcement by Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman a week ago of “ending extremism” in the country, pledging to make his country “moderate” and “open,” as a “non-inclusive” call for reform.
There has been a global debate over the fine line between freedom of expression and the implicit or explicit support and propagation of extremism and intolerance that may evolve into violence and terrorism.
The Saudi journalist tweeted on September 21, “Yes, I joined the Muslim Brotherhood organization when I was at university. And, I was not alone. Some of the current ministers and deputies did but later every one of us developed their own political tendencies and views.”
Khashoggi had also criticized in September the classification of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian-Qatari Islamic Scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi as terrorists by Saudi Arabia.
The brotherhood is outlawed in Egypt and classified as a terrorist group for planning and executing several terror attacks against the military, the police and civilians, incurring thousands of casualties and injuries.
The attacks intensified following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi, a brotherhood member, on July 3, 2013 after mass protests started on June 30 of the same year calling for his removal. The group backed is also accused of promoting extremism in the Gulf, and aiming to destabilize its countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Qaradawi, 90, has been the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars founded in 2004 and based in Doha where he lived for 56 years. Qaradawi was given space in Al-Jazeera to propagate jihadist ideas advocating suicide bombings and “military struggle” against the ruling regimes in Syria and Libya. He is banned from entering the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.