(New York, N.Y.) — Today Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Chief Executive Officer Ambassador Mark D. Wallace and CEP President Frances F. Townsend called on speakers at the upcoming Doha Forum on December 10-11 to use that platform for good — and publicly demand that Qatar and the Al-Thani Royal Family remand Hamas leadership into U.S. or Israeli custody and ensure the safe return of all remaining hostages.

Ambassador Wallace and former U.S. Homeland Security Advisor Townsend stated:

“The Doha Forum is a thinly-veiled stage for Qatar to whitewash its horrific record of support for terrorism by inviting a legion of high-profile individuals from the fields of politics, business, academia and popular culture. Their presence gives Qatar an entirely unwarranted veneer of legitimacy while it continues to provide critical financial support and safe haven for Hamas terrorists.

As Qatar’s true character becomes increasingly exposed following the October 7 atrocity committed by its friends in Hamas, it is notable that the Al-Thanis failed to pick up any major cultural influencers for this year’s Doha Forum. Last year’s event featured David Beckham and Malala Yousafzai.

But while DF 2023 will be less star-studded, it is shocking that the UN Secretary-General in particular has decided to lend his support. Mr. Guterres could and should leverage his profile to make a principled stand and shine a light on his Qatari hosts on December 10.”

Behind its cozy branding as a space to discuss “global challenges and solutions,” the Doha Forum is a well-funded vehicle for heavily anti-Israel and pro-Iran talking-points. This year, for instance, will feature former PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashwari, who recently referred to “the issue of women being raped and children being beheaded” on October 7 as “all that nonsense.” Also appearing is Adnan Tabatabei, one of the so-called “Iran Experts Initiative” members tasked with promoting the Tehran regime abroad. Even the Doha Youth Forum – the companion event that took place last month – featured Norman Finkelstein, who has explicitly defended the actions of Hamas.

Qatar sends at least $360 to $480 million annually to Hamas. Qatar is also home to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who celebrated the October 7 massacre from his Doha office along with his predecessor, Khaled Meshaal. Even as the blood of the 1,200 victims was still flowing, the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it held Israel “solely responsible for the ongoing escalation due to its ongoing violations.” Since the attacks, Qatar has hosted at least three meetings between Hamas leadership and its main terror sponsor, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and continued its full-court propaganda press against Israel.

With critical support from Qatar, Hamas has weaponized Gazans to be the cannon fodder of extremism and Iran’s hegemonic ambitions. Qatar’s support of Hamas does not distinguish in its violence and harm to Jews or Muslims.

The following Doha Forum speakers must take a principled stand and publicly call on their Qatari hosts to immediately ensure the release of all remaining hostages and remand the agents of October 7 into custody. 

  • Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General
  • Martin Griffiths, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
  • Timothy Lenderking, U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen
  • Niels Annen, Minister of State for Germany
  • Borge Brende, President of World Economic Forum
  • Dominic Grieve, Former Attorney-General of England & Wales
  • Ambassador Paula Dobriansky, Vice-Chair of Atlantic Council Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security
  • Brian Finlay, President of Stimson Center
  • Ambassador Mark Green, CEO of Wilson Center
  • Daniel Levy, President of U.S. Middle East Project President
  • Charles Lister, Director of the Syria and Countering Terrorism & Extremism at Middle East Institute
  • Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch Director for Israel and Palestine
  • Thomas Juneau, University of Ottawa

To read The Times’ report on CEP’s call to boycott Qatar’s London hotels, click here

To read The Wall Street Journal’s report on UANI and CEP’s previous call to action, please click here

To read The Telegraph’s report citing CEP’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Wallace’s call for a Qatari asset freeze until it surrenders Hamas leadership to the U.S. and/or Israel, please click here.

To read The Washington Post’s report citing CEP CEO Mark Wallace on Qatar’s role in harboring Hamas, please click here.

To read CEP’s report, Qatar: Extremism and Terrorism, please click here

To read CEP’s HARBORS Campaign Report on Qatar, please click here.

Daily Dose

Extremists: Their Words. Their Actions.


On February 26, 2015, a Boko Haram suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a market in Biu, Nigeria, killing 19 people and injuring 20 others. A second attempted-suicide bomber was caught and beaten by a crowd before he was able to carry out his attack.

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