by Rosie Alfatlawi
Can war be declared via Twitter?
Well, according to one hashtag, a “Saudi minister threatened to invade Qatar” on the social networking site.
It was a series of tweets by Saoud al-Qahtani, an advisor to the royal court, that inspired angry Qataris to launch the tag.
Al-Qahtani tweeted on August 6:
On August 10, he added that:
Many Qataris used the trend to mock what they saw as the Saudi minister’s empty words.
@BuSalem2022 wrote that “this is terrorism, and a man in a position of responsibility who tweets terror like this should be taken to court.”
@qatar_1_99 tweeted that “the Qatari army and the tribes whose history is known are before you” adding that a “[real] man puts forward, he doesn't threaten and recoil.”
As the Gulf crisis trundles on into its third month, the Hajj Islamic pilgrimage is the latest issue to get embroiled in the regional tensions.
At the end of July, Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of trying to “internationalize Saudi Arabia’s holy sites”.
"Qatar's request to internationalize the holy sites is an aggressive act and a declaration of war against the kingdom,” the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told al-Arabiya.
However Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani indicated that no official from his country had made that call.
“There has not been a single statement by a Qatari official concerning the internationalization of hajj,” he told Al-Jazeera news channel.
Qatar had, however, accused the Saudis of politicizing Hajj and complained to the UN about what it said were obstacles to Qataris performing Hajj.
I expect this would be the response of his highness the [Qatari] Emir if he received the words of [the minister]
Some Saudis used the hashtag to stand by their minister.
However, others distanced themselves from him.
- 'New Reality for Inter-Arab Relations': Gulf Crisis
- Gulf Crisis Escalates: UAE, Saudi, Bahrain, Egypt Cut Ties with Qatar
On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, sea and air blockade, accusing the tiny Gulf state of supporting terrorism.
The four states then issued a list of 13 demands, which Qatar did not accept, including shutting down Al Jazeera and severing links with the Muslim Brotherhood.
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