WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- "The King is going to go back, and the Taliban are out," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., to United Press International Wednesday at a lunch on Capitol Hill given in honor of the Emir of Qatar.
Rohrabacher has just returned from a visit to Rome where he and other members of Congress met with ousted Afghan King Zahir Shah, in an ongoing effort in what is being called America's new war on terrorism.
Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born millionaire accused by the Unites States of being responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and near Washington that are estimated to have killed more than 6,000 people, is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan, and enjoying the support of the Taliban militias.
Since the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush has been working to put together an international coalition to fight Bin Laden's al Qaida network and other suspected terrorist organizations associated with it.
"We condemn all forms of terrorism, in all shapes and forms," said Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the emir of Qatar in a short address to a group of House members comprising both Democrats and Republicans.
"There is no doubt that Muslims condemn terrorism," said the emir of the oil-rich Persian Gulf state, a close U.S. ally.
Qatar contributed troops to the U.S.-led coalition during the 1991 Desert Storm campaign following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Qatari soldiers fought side-by-side with American Marines during battle of Khafji, one of the first clashes of Desert Storm, when the Qataris successfully repulsed invading Iraqi forces.
"Muslims don't have a monopoly on terrorism," the emir said, adding he was happy the United States was not rash to retaliate following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"We are glad that the U.S. is taking its time," the emir said.
The emir visited the so-called Ground Zero in lower Manhattan Tuesday and donated $3 million to a number of disaster relief funds, at the start of a five-day official visit to the United States. He is to meet President Bush Thursday at the White House.
Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who has taken large steps toward democracy in a part of the world where voting and other basic freedoms are relative, said it was lack of democracy that spawned radicalism.
"American democracy benefits the free world," the emir said. In 1999, Congress recognized Qatar's first municipal elections in its history, where women not only had the right to vote, but also were allowed to run for office. Although none were elected, this was seen as a major breakthrough for women's rights.
Qatar has surprised -- and at times often upset -- many Arab governments and leaders by its free press, another rarity in the Levant. The satellite television news channel Al-Jazeera is based in Doha, the capital of the tiny Arab kingdom. Its free and Western style reporting rapidly has emerged as the most popular news channel in the Middle East and among Arabic-speaking audiences all over the world.