Imprisoned in Qatar, Parts 2 and 3

A couple of days ago we posted the beginning of an interview with Jean-Pierre Marongiu, a French entrepreneur who spent five years in prison in Qatar. Below are parts 2 and 3 of the same interview. Based on the end of part 3, it seems there will be at least one more installment of this interview.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for the translations, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling. Note: The end of part 2 and the beginning of part 3 overlap, so there are a few sentences of repeated content.

Part 2:

Part 2:

Video transcript #2:

04:13   You have rather hard words
04:17   and understandably so, about this state, a thuggish state,
04:22   the richest and the most arrogant in the world. —Absolutely. They have
04:26   revenge to take. There’s no doubt that during first years of the exploitation of the
04:30   gas and petrol centers the Western nations
04:34   helped themselves abundantly. Today, the loans having been reimbursed,
04:38   they are the kings of the world, since the GDP of Qatar is the highest
04:42   in the world. So they make us pay out of a sort of
04:47   Vengeful spite, and that arrogance is linked to
04:51   all the spheres. They also know that the resources won’t last forever. They therefore have
04:55   a need to acquire shares and buy real estate all over the planet, especially
04:59   in Paris. A thuggish state, because in order to
05:03   maintain their own security, they happily finance all the terrorist movements . — So, precisely,
05:07   this is the subject of my second question, Jean-Pierre Marongiu:
05:12   you affirm forthrightly that the state of Qatar has financially supported
05:16   the Islamic State, while the former exterior minister Laurent Fabius
05:20   has always maintained that they had no proof whatsoever. What is
05:24   your evidence? —My evidence is the cohabitation with members of the Qatari Royal family,
05:28   which at some point… —During your incarceration, voilà. — Absolutely.
05:32   Sheikh Talal al-Thani, especially, who for years
05:36   worked for the Qatari government, at the time of Sheikh Hamad,
05:41   in order to transfer staggering sums of money to all the organizations,
05:45   Sunni, or Shia, it didn’t matter to them — So, therefore,
05:49   it might be Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda,
05:53   the Islamic State… —Hamas —Hamas, Shias —Hezbollah,
05:57   voilà. —Absolutely. —All the organizations…well,
06:00   after that I don’t know if we can paint them all
06:03   with the same terrorist brush — who should be doing the painting? — I’ll use a shortcut:
06:06   It’s enough to have a beard and weapons be able to go and ask for money in Qatar.
06:10   Voilà, so this sheikh Talal Abdel-Aziz Al-Thani, whom you just mentioned, is the
06:14   cousin of the current emir, and whom they imprisoned, who was imprisoned
06:18   in the same prison as you. —Precisely. They have the same grandfather, meaning that
06:22   Sheikh Talal is hierarchically on the same level in the al-Thani branch,
06:26   except that he is on another branch, precisely
06:31   the cursed branch, the one that has no longer access to power.
06:35   So, voilà, you mention this Sheikh Talal who owns —
06:39   so he says — documents of fund transfers from the state of Qatar to ISIS,
06:43   to the Taliban, to Hezbollah, to the Houthi rebels [Yemen], voilà. So all those
06:47   organizations about which French state has always maintained
06:51   that we have no evidence that Qatar is financing those organizations.
06:56   You also mention a stay in your prison
07:00   by a delegation of twenty-five soldiers of the Islamic State. Could you tell us
07:04   the context and the atmosphere? —Those twenty-five soldiers,
07:08   as we have habit of calling them, are members of the Qatari aristocracy,
07:12   who went to fight with the Al-Baghdadi army
07:16   in Syria. Young men, Qatari,
07:20   sometimes al-Thanis, and under international pressure
07:25   which was prompted by the implications of Qataris
07:29   who fought at the side of the Islamic State, Sheikh al-Thani
07:33   was forced to impose punishment on them,
07:37   and for twenty-four days they were assigned to the block where I was kept,
07:41   to do penance. So they put in place their own
07:46   system of governing, imposing taxes, imposing
07:50   Islamic Law on all the people who were there, and especially
07:54   me, where I was asked to make a geo-political analysis of all
07:58   that was going on on French and English channels, so they could
08:02   have a right of answering. —We are getting to what you experienced,
08:06   you, personally, Jean-Pierre Marongiu, during this incarceration
08:10   that — I’m reminding our audience — lasted almost five years,
08:13   exactly 1744 days. Could you give us some details
08:19   about that incarceration? Voilà, you say: “In prison you survive only by the distance
08:23   that you manage to put in place between you and the others.”
08:27   It’s the torch that keeps the wolves at bay. And as long as the torch is burning,
08:31   you are safe. The day when the luminosity or intensity
08:35   of the light diminishes, they devour you.

Video transcript #3:

08:05   We return to what you experienced, you personally, during
08:09   this incarceration, which — I remind our audience — lasted almost
08:13   five years: exactly 1744 days. Could you share with us
08:17   some details of this incarceration. Voilà, you say: “In prison
08:21   you survive only by the distance which you manage to install between
08:25   us and the others.” —It’s the torch that keeps the wolves at bay.
08:30   And as long as the torch is burning, you are safe. The day
08:34   where the luminosity or the intensity of the light diminishes,
08:38   they devour you. The torch is the principles.
08:42   The faith in one’s self and the belief that finally
08:46   the principles are going to save your life.
08:50   I endured everything. I experienced Charlie Hebdo and the Bataclan.
08:55   in the Islamist environment which yelled Allahu Akhbar at every
08:59   sentence of French victims. —You said, voilà: “ I was on hostile soil,
09:03   territory.” —In enemy territory. — Enemy territory.
09:07   So I fought physically, several times. I was stabbed,
09:11   I tried to escape, I was shot at. At some point the order to eliminate me was
09:15   given by the prison management. —One of your fellow detainees, I think, anyway, it was
09:19   those Kosovars: one or several among them were assassinated during
09:24   this escape attempt. —Absolutely. —“The loneliness is more,
09:28   much more than a state of being: it’s a feeling and a torture.” —Yes.
09:32   The loneliness comes to life, takes form. You find yourself alone,
09:36   and finally alone with yourself and with your story. The introspection
09:40   allowed me to stay afloat, to not go crazy.
09:44   The writing. And above all different and various contrabands,
09:48   which allowed me to buy clandestine phones with
09:53   which I stayed connected with my family and to France.
09:57   “I was attacking God, the Great Watchmaker of this entire
10:01   bazaar.” You lost your faith? Are you a Christian, Jean-Pierre Marongiu?
10:05   I am a Christian. I was often asked
10:09   to convert to Islam, which would have made my sentence easier.
10:13   I refused, despite the rage that I felt against God,
10:17   who decides, while we have to endure. But as a Christian
10:21   again — I have to keep my faith in the Light.
10:25   You express a radical criticism of Islam.
10:30   Could you explain to us, why it is even outright resentment?
10:34   I would use the word “resentment”. When you are a Christian you shouldn’t
10:38   resent this type of things. I am nevertheless human. Islam — contrary to what
10:42   it was presented to us as — is not a religion of peace: it’s a religion of war.
10:46   The Quran is a book that talks about peace
10:50   on some pages, but the jihad is assassination,
10:54   purely and simply, of all people who won’t submit to it.
10:59   Islam means “slave”. —“Submission”?
11:03   Could you tell us about that encounter with that imam, who
11:07   who came to preach Muhammad to your prison, and who at first sight
11:11   seemed to you to be a saint, Jesus, you were saying. —Yes. Charming.
11:15   Resembling Jesus a little … —Well, we all have little images
11:19   of the appearance that Jesus might have had: a tall man, with very fair skin,
11:24   long hair, beard, a radiant smile full of goodness.
11:28   We talked for a long time, and what he wanted to know was
11:32   how they could change — in the West — the image of Islam.
11:36   What wasn’t working with our perception
11:40   of what Islam is? And when I explained to him that
11:44   it was especially the image of women that
11:48   was unacceptable to us, that there was no question
11:53   of blowing yourself up with a bomb in order to go to Paradise, and get
11:57   forty two virgins, or I don’t know anymore how many… —Seventy, I think
12:01   Yes, it might be a sociability criterion.
12:05   The more advanced you are in the Islamic hierarchy, the more
12:09   virgins you get. In fact I have no idea. But it’s certain that there is a book [Quran]
12:14   that was written, well — according to them— directly by god,
12:18   but visibly Muhammad used it
12:22   as a war book to mobilize his troops, create prayer times
12:26   to make sure that in the morning people would be up and ready to go into combat.

2 thoughts on “Imprisoned in Qatar, Parts 2 and 3

  1. Clever, the prayer times getting people up to go to war. So hard to get people up otherwise.

  2. Again, Qatar is nearly in a state of war with Saudi Arabia. Fortunately, the US leaders, the Trump family and others, have business ties with both Qatar and Saudi Arabia, so the US more or less leaves these Muslim countries to stew in their own juices, which is the appropriate stance to all intra-Muslim conflict.

    US government deficit spending gives a huge entree to power and influence for the Muslim oil states. The US is supporting, with equipment and probably some troops, the Saudi incursion into Yemen, which is insane. But Saudi Arabia has the US over a barrel: if they stopped buying US treasuries, the built-in deficit spending would send the US into inflation, interrupting Trump’s bragging points of increasing employment.

    To summarize: Qatar is an Islamist state with no laws and no justice, supporting Islamist law and sending protection money to fanatic Muslims groups who engage in terrorism. Opposing Qatar is Saudi Arabia, an Islamist state whose laws can be ignored at convenience by its rulers, no justice, supporter of Islamist laws, with a history of sending money to al Qaeda and other affiliated groups as an incentive to leave Saudi Arabia alone. I can see why the US would want to take one of these countries as an ally, in pursuit of US policy of exerting power and influence in far-off places.

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