The Muslim Brotherhood: Exploring divergent views in Saudi Arabia and Qatar

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Lipp, Andrew
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Nell Gabiam
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Political Science
The Department of Political Science has been a separate department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (formerly the College of Sciences and Humanities) since 1969 and offers an undergraduate degree (B.A.) in political science, a graduate degree (M.A.) in political science, a joint J.D./M.A. degree with Drake University, an interdisciplinary degree in cyber security, and a graduate Certificate of Public Management (CPM). In addition, it provides an array of service courses for students in other majors and other colleges to satisfy general education requirements in the area of the social sciences.
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The 2017 Qatar diplomatic crisis upset the traditional alliances of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt severed ties with Qatar, accusing Qatar of sponsoring terrorist organizations and compromising the Gulf Cooperation Council by strengthening relations with Iran. This article highlights the role of the Muslim Brotherhood within both Saudi Arabia and Qatar to demonstrate why the Islamist organization was an important piece in the initiation of the ongoing diplomatic crisis. Using two historical case studies, this paper reveals two divergent views of the MB in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Saudi royal family views the MB as a threat to their authority because of their religious ideology and pro-democratic stance. The Qataris, conversely, favor the MB because of their foreign policy goals to become a global actor that involves the MB. Survey data from the Arab Barometer IV connects views on the MB and democracy at the individual level. The two contrasting images of the MB held by Saudi Arabia and Qatar was a significant contributing factoring in causing the 2017 crisis. The inclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood in the study of recent Middle East politics helps to highlight the complexity of the region that goes beyond sectarianism.

Wed May 01 00:00:00 UTC 2019