As reports of Syrian brutality proliferate, Qatar’s charities are stepping up relief efforts for those living under the Assad regime.
But one incident at a fundraising event earlier this year has Qatar’s Ministry of Social Affairs warning non-profits to tread lightly.
In January, as children on stage sang songs during a Sheikh Eid bin Muhammad al-Thani Charity Trust event supporting the ongoing popular uprising in Syria, they ended one particular chant with the line, “Down with Bashar al-Assad.”
The reaction from the Qatar government was swift.
Saying Eid had mixed “charity with politics,” the social affairs ministry issued a stern warning, banned it from holding any future events supporting Syria and froze all Syria-related bank accounts, the Peninsula reports.
It lifted the ban in February, but upheld its warning/censure last week, a move the charity says is a “blemish” on its activities.
Gulf Times reports:
The Eid bin Muhammad Trust has said that whatever was presented in the three-day event was in no way a breach of the law and was in harmony with the Qatar government’s official stand on the Syrian crisis.
The Eid bin Muhammad Trust also stated that it had not instigated anyone to make inflammatory speeches against the Syrian regime.
Whatever was said occurred extempore, it added.
Interesting, given Qatar’s vocal support for a regime change in Syria.
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala