On Monday, BBC reported a story which noted that several of their journalists spent two days in jail for the crime of reporting the truth about the poor conditions under which migrant workers are treated in Qatar. The journalists were told they were being held due to “national security”, and “This is not Disneyland – You can’t stick your camera anywhere.” The BBC says that other reporters have been detained in a similar matter when investigating this story.

Imagine the world uproar which would have occurred if this was in Israel – yet, The Middle Eastern Emirate of Qatar which is ruled in part, by Sharia law will have this story largely glossed over. It will not be front page New York Times, nor will it dominate CNN – and it will be largely forgotten very quickly.


Qatar funds Hamas, and even Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have recalled their ambassadors from Qatar to protest its support of terror organizations.

As the Washington Institute has noted, “America views its close ally, Qatar, as a terrorist funding trouble spot. Washington has gone so far as to call the small Persian Gulf state a permissive environment for financing terrorist groups.

The United States says it does not have evidence that the government of Qatar is funding the terrorist group now known as the Islamic State (ISIS). But it does believe that private individuals in Qatar are helping to finance this group and others like it. And it thinks the Gulf state is not doing enough to stop this. Qatar’s security strategy has been to provide support to a wide range of regional and international groups in order to bolster its position at home and abroad. This strategy has involved generously supporting Islamist organizations, including militant ones like Hamas and the Taliban. Allowing private local fundraising for Islamist groups abroad forms part of this approach.”

This trip on which BBC journalists were imprisoned on was organized by Portland Communications, a leading European PR firm on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office. Qatar’s Public Relations Agency is chaired by Tim Allan, a former adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Another PR firm, Burson Marsteller worked for Muslim Brotherhood, yet refused to work for Israel.

The world – and so many industries – have two different rulebooks. A separate set of rules applies to Israel.

Imagine if this happened in Israel? Indeed, however Qatar – a nation which employs Sharia law – is not Disneyland!


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Ronn Torossian is Founder and CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR Firm in New York and one of the 20 largest independently owned agencies in the United States. Ronn is an active Jewish philanthropist through his charity organization, the Ronn Torossian Foundation.