Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Statement on inaccurate FoxNews.com opinion piece


Doha, 6 August (2020) - FoxNews.com has published a poorly sourced article with numerous false allegations against Qatar, written by two individuals with an established anti-Qatar agenda.

Benjamin Weinthal of “Foundation for Defense of Democracies” (FDD) has previously made distorted claims against Qatar. His aim is to undermine Qatar’s hosting of the American military at Al Udeid Air Base and have it relocated elsewhere in the region. This is not surprising since it was revealed by the Associated Press that FDD worked at the direction of the United Arab Emirates to publish slanderous articles and organise anti-Qatar events.

His “research” is undermined by Qatar’s work for decades at the forefront of the fight against extremism and terror financing. Qatar was the first country in the region to sign a comprehensive MOU with the United States to combat terror financing. Currently, Qatar has some of the strictest domestic laws to prosecute those associated with terror financing.

Qatar has invested significantly in Al Udeid Air Base, making it one of the most advanced military bases in the world and an invaluable hub in the global fight against terrorism and extremism.

As Spyer and Weinthal are forced to acknowledge in the last paragraph of their piece, the US State Department made clear the importance of Qatar’s efforts as “one of the United States’ closest military allies in the region” and emphasised that “US-Qatar military and security cooperation is making the region safer and more stable”.

This concluding declaration undermines the hyperbole contained throughout the article.

The authors go to great lengths to spread disinformation, including a six-year-old quote in the article from a German Minister regarding allegations against Qatar, for which the German government publicly apologised and admitted there was no evidence to corroborate the claims.

It is disturbing that the authors and FoxNews.com are using the tragedy in Lebanon to advance false narratives. The focus should be on supporting the Lebanese people. To that end, the State of Qatar is already working to assist those impacted, by sending planeloads of urgent medical aid, field hospitals, along with search and rescue teams to Beirut.

It is time to ignore biased organisations with narrow self-interest working to tarnish reputations by spreading disinformation and falsehoods. It is beneath the standards of FoxNews.com to give a platform to such actors.