Rod Stewart received more than $1million to perform when he was offered the opportunity. in Qatar, he stated, he declined.
“It’s not right to go,” Mr. Stewart told the The Sunday Times of London Recenty, I joined a string of Public figures may declare boycotts and condemnation of Qatar hosts the soccer tournament as the Gulf country. World Cup.
Qatar faced increasing pressure in the lead-up to the tournament, which began this weekend. of criticism over its human rights record, including the authoritarian monarchy’s criminalization of Homosexuality and well-documented abuse of Workers who are migrant.
However, Stewart didn’t voice any disapproval during his performance in 2010 in Dubai or 2017. in Abu Dhabi, cities in the nearby United Arab Emirates — a country that also has an authoritarian monarchy and has faced allegations of Human rights violations, but it has also more successfully promoted a Western-friendly image. Stewart declined to comment through his public relations company.
This is the kind of One of the most frustrating forms of dissonance is when people become increasingly confused. Qataris They are confronted with the glare of Each person is in the international spotlight World Cup. The tournament brought about a tremendous burst of They claim that negative coverage has spawned descriptions of They portray an image of a country and people that are stereotypical and outdated. of Qatar they can barely recognize.
Qataris They claim they are challenging double standards. They ask why Europeans would buy natural gas from Qatar, if Qatar is so vile that they can’t watch soccer in it? Why don’t some of Do international figures who have voiced their opposition to Qatar should do so for the United Arab Emirates as well?
They also expressed their hope that the first will be successful. World Cup To be held in An Arab nation will challenge stereotypes QatarisArabs and Muslims
It sometimes appears to be doing the opposite.
Last month, the emir addressed the nation in a speech. of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Al-Thani called the Oppression “an unprecedented campaign that no host country has ever faced.” Speaking to a German newspaperMohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani was the Qatari foreign minister. He stated that some of It was racist and arrogant.
According to organizers, at least 15,000 journalists will visit Qatar, which has a population of 1.3 million. of Three million, for World Cup. The torrent of For a country that is rarely featured in global news, the amount of reporting has been overwhelming. Qatari officials were keen to host the tournament. It fits into a broader, decades-long push by Qatar’s rulers to turn the once-obscure country into a prominent global player, a strategy funded by vast natural gas wealth.
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The media response was not as Qatar had hoped. A television presenter asked him about his impressions. of The country a French reporter replied, “There are a lot of mosques.” In a photo captionThe Times of London wrote “The Qataris are unaccustomed to seeing women in Western dress in their country,” A sentence that was later changed. (In actuality, more than 85 percent of foreign residents are in the country. of The population of Qatar is a country where women in jeans and short dresses are very common. in neighboring Saudi Arabia.)
“A lot of reporters lump in all Arab countries together,” Justin Martin, associate professor of Journalism at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. The journalist has worked there for 10 years in Qatar. “It’s a combination of just abject ignorance and Orientalist tropes.”
Even some Qataris People who accept criticism as an invitation to improvement claim that they are dismayed at the media coverage which they feel is based on prejudices in Islamophobia, Orientalism and racism.
An article in one British tabloid decried Qatar’s “savage” laws, a reference later modified to “brutal.” Rupert Murdoch’s owned TalkTVA British channel with a small audience, the presenter asked a guest. “How much respect should we show to cultures which we consider to be, frankly, an abomination?” during a segment about Qatar’s treatment of L.G.B.T.Q. people.
Khalifa Al Haroon, who runs an online visitors’ guide called I Love Qatar, said, “My biggest concern is because of all of the racism, or what is being perceived as articles fueled by racism, it’s taking away from the critical issues.” Loving his country means fixing its problems, he added, and he thinks attention to workers’ rights has helped instigate positive change. However, he stated that he is disturbed by the simplistic portrayals of discrimination that he feels.
“How can we focus on the problems when it’s about the tonality, it’s about the verbiage, it’s about the words used?” Mr. Al Haroon stated.
Professor Martin of Journalism said that he believes part of the reason the coverage has been so ferocious is because the tournament’s shift from summer to November angered fans and sports journalists by disrupting other countries’ soccer schedules. There’s also been “enmity” Restricted availability of alcohol in He noted Qatar as a conservative Islamic country.
The Times of TalkTV and London didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Stereotypical imagery can also cause damage. Qataris say. When Saturday Comes is a British soccer magazine a World Cup wall chart Illustrations of Two men with large noses, in Wearing Gulf Arab clothing, one of which is pushing a wheelbarrow full of cash. As an example, the poster was used. of prejudiced portrayals by the Qatari-owned channel Al Jazeera during an interview with Hassan Al Thawadi, who heads Qatar’s World Cup organization.
“They have a stereotypical idea that was ingrained in the Western world for generations and ages,” Mr. Al Thawadi said. “In general, the concept is people who aren’t civilized, and the only thing positive about them is money.”
Andy Lyons, editor of When Saturday Comes, the editor rejected suggestions that the wall charts were based on stereotypes. The magazine’s cartoonist “draws most figures” The cash and large noses were meant to be bribes to FIFA board members that American investigators and FIFA have both confirmed. in The awarding of Mr. Lyons wrote the tournament in An email
Criticism of The World Cup’s host country accompanies every tournament, to varying degrees. South Africa was confronted with safety concerns prior to the 2010 competition. Brazil faced it due to corruption and criminality ahead of The 2014 edition was contested by Russia over homophobia, police brutality, political repression and homophobia in The prelude for the 2018 version.
But there are other options. Qataris and many other Arabs of Because it adds up to centuries, what they see is hurtful of Negative representations made by Europeans and North Americans.
Still, some analysts see the government’s efforts to highlight prejudice as a way of To incite nationalism and divert attention from abuses. Participation in politics in Qatar has very few resources. L.G.B.T.Q. People are subject to bigotry and could be prosecuted by the authorities. Women in Qatar holds leadership positions but requires permission from a male guardian before marrying or before reaching the age of 18. of 25, travel abroad.
Mira Al Hussein is an Emirati sociolog at Oxford University. “I think we are justified in our outrage against the racist and Orientalist undertones that characterize the criticism emanating from the West against Qatar lately.”
“But we cannot fault the fact,” She also said that Qatar and other countries are being renegotiated. of The headlines about the Gulf States are constantly about a “lamentable human rights record.”
While the Qatari government is improving protections for migrants workers, activists feel that they are not making enough. Vulnerable migrants from South Asia and Africa built the infrastructure that allowed the construction of the airport. World Cup possible. They face abuse and exploitation, working grueling hours for meager pay — though scholars point out that Gulf societies are just one locus in A global system that creates these hierarchies.
A series of incidents in The tournament’s prelude has not been kind. Journalists protested at restrictions on filming locations. A sudden decision to ban beer in stadiums caused a commotion. FIFA prohibited team captains from wearing armbands with rainbow-colored colors in Part matches of a social justice campaign.
When FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, attacked Western critics of Qatar on Saturday, he effectively took over the narrative from some of These episodes.
However, as off-putting his comments may have been to some, many of them resonated with others. in The Middle East, who was in Particularly on one comment he made “I think for what we Europeans have been doing around the world for the last 3,000 years, we should be apologizing for the next 3,000 years, before starting to give moral lessons.”
Youssef Cherryif, director of Columbia University’s Columbia Global Center in Tunis stated that Qatar and United Arab Emirates suffered similar labor and human rights violations. However, he said, “while both autocracies reached the hearts and minds of Arabs, only one of them won in Western circles, and that’s the U.A.E.,” attributing the difference to the Emirates’ having crafted a “modernist, lovable, Orientalist brand for themselves.”
Qatari organizers tried to use it World Cup To introduce people to their culture, and, more generally, Islam with translations of Prophetic sayings are displayed all around Doha, the capital. Officials stress that it is first World Cup in A region populated by soccer fans.
“For 450 million Arabs, this is something they thought they would never see in their lifetimes,” Ali Al-Ansari, Qatar’s media attaché in United States in Written statement.
“The success of this World Cup will not be measured by how some people and groups in a small number of European countries, who are unfortunately unable to look past their prejudice, perceive it,” Mr. Al-Ansari said.
Rory Smith Contributed reporting