What are we allowing now? We are allowing Qatar to build a massive city center in our nation’s Capitol. Is that the same Qatar that thinks Hamas and Hezbollah are legitimate and engages in trafficking for slave labor – that Qatar???
Qatar is funding a massive City Center project in DC. From The Washington Times: An investment arm of oil-rich Qatar is putting up the equity needed to fund the massive CityCenterDC project, officials said moments before breaking ground Monday at the site of the old downtown convention center six blocks from the White House.
Is this a good idea? We have plausible relations with Qatar and important military facilities are established there. But do we want them funding a massive complex in DC, our nation’s capitol?
This from the Congressional Research Service:
Human Rights and Labor Conditions
The U.S. State Department Country Report on Human Rights for 2010 states that Qatar’s government “placed restrictions on civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, press (including the Internet), assembly, association, and religion.” The report also states that “there were prolonged detentions in overcrowded and harsh facilities, often ending in deportation.”
According to the report, the rights of non-citizens are at times abused, particularly among domestic servants from the Philippines and Southeast Asia…In December 2004, Qatar announced that it was banning the use of children as camel jockeys, a practice long decried by the international community…
Qatar remained a Tier 2 Watch List country in the U.S. State Department 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report. According to the report, as of June 2010, “the government did not show evidence of overall progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders and identifying victims of trafficking.” A draft law anti-trafficking law reportedly was in the final stages of consideration as of April 2011, in line with long-standing Qatari pledges that have been noted in consecutive U.S. reports on trafficking in persons.
Islam and Religious Freedom
Islam is the official religion of the state of Qatar. Conditional freedom of worship is protected under the constitution, although proselytizing by non-Muslims is illegal. Qatar, like Saudi Arabia, officially adheres to the Wahhabi version of Sunni Islam; however, in contrast with Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi social tenets are not publicly enforced or strictly adhered to in many public settings.
Qatar hosts a number of conservative Islamic clerics, including Dr. Yusuf Al Qaradawi, a controversial figure whose views on the conditional legitimacy of suicide bombing and whose outspoken critiques of Israel, the United States, and terrorism have made him a target of criticism from a wide range of observers…
During the summer 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war and 2008-2009 Israel-Hamas war, Qaradawi publicly argued that Muslims should support the activities of Hezbollah and Hamas as legitimate resistance activities, based on Quranic injunctions to defend Muslim territory invaded by outsiders.51 Qaradawi hosts a popular weekly call-in television show on Al Jazeera and frequently delivers sermons in Qatari mosques. Qaradawi has worked with a charitable umbrella organization known as the Union of Good that coordinates the delivery of relief and assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In November 2008, the U.S. Department of the Treasury designated the Union of Good as a financial supporter of terrorism pursuant to Executive Order 13224.
According to the Treasury, “The Union of Good acts as a broker for Hamas by facilitating financial transfers between a web of charitable organizations–including several organizations previously designated under E.O. 13224 for providing support to Hamas–and Hamas-controlled organizations in the West Bank and Gaza. Read here: Congressional Research Service Report on Qatar