Al-Estiklal Newspaper

 Al-Estiklal Newspaper

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Despite the Fierce Campaign, Qatar Succeeds in Blowing the World Cup Whistle Without Losing Its Identity

2022/11/22| | تقارير
“Qatar is facing an unprecedented systematic campaign for any country that has hosted the World Cup before.”

Qatar succeeded in blowing the whistle for the FIFA World Cup, which is being organized for the first time on an Arab Islamic grounds, and will run between November 20 and December 18, 2022.

The world championship, which takes place every 4 years, and has been hosted in Western countries and their own values for decades, sees the light this time in Qatar. The latter is destined to fight a great battle to preserve Arab culture and Islamic identity.

For months, Qatar has been facing fierce pressure campaigns from Western governments and organizations supporting homosexuals. The campaigns have recently intensified in order to change its societal values ​​and facilitate the presence and acceptance of various manifestations in the World Cup.


Arabic Islamic Character

From the first moments, Qatar worked to imbue the World Cup with the Arab identity by using “shawls” inside the tournament logo, as well as printing the text mark of the logo “Kashida,” which is the lengthening of certain parts of the letters in the Arabic text.

On November 13, 2022, a few days before the start of the World Cup, some Doha hotels put a barcode in their rooms to introduce Islam in many languages.

The barcode bears the logo of the Abdullah Bin Zaid al Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center, affiliated with the Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

He is the owner of the initiative aimed at introducing the fans of the 2022 World Cup to Islam through translated materials.

On October 30, 2022, the Qatar Organizing Committee for the 2022 World Cup revealed several murals that it had published in the streets of the capital, Doha.

These murals include hadiths of the Prophet translated into English, including “Every good deed is charity” and “Allah will not be merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.”

Likewise: “Guard yourself from the Hellfire, even with half of a date in charity. If one cannot find it, then with a kind word,” and “let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest.”


Alcohol Ban

The efforts did not stop at introducing Islam, but also at limiting practices contrary to the customs and culture of Qatar and the Islamic peoples.

This was evident on November 17, 2022, when FIFA announced that the sale of alcoholic beverages to fans in the vicinity of the stadiums that will host the World Cup will not be allowed.

FIFA said in a statement, which sparked great Western controversy, that the decision came after discussions with Doha, without revealing the reasons behind the ban.

The International Federation said: The sale of alcoholic beverages will be limited only to the fan zones, with the removal of liquor centers from the vicinity of Qatari stadiums.

Alcohol is illegal in Qatar but is generally available for sale in upscale hotel bars intended for foreign tourists.

On more than one occasion, Qatari officials have asked everyone to respect local customs and traditions for consuming and selling alcohol during the 2022 World Cup on their lands.

With the escalation of Western criticism, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said at a press conference in Doha that many countries, such as France, Spain, Portugal, and Scotland, ban alcohol in stadiums, denouncing the uproar that is happening today because Qatar is a Muslim country.


Fierce Campaigns

With the World Cup approaching, Qatar was subjected to a fierce criticism campaign for its position against homosexuality and its adherence to the Islamic identity and Arab culture that denounced these practices.

On May 20, 2022, the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, announced that his country would welcome visitors from different countries of the world.

He said that his country will not prevent anyone from attending the World Cup and enjoying a generous hosting in Doha.

But in a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, he called on all comers to respect the culture and traditions of the Qatari people.

Among the most prominent who attacked Qatar were German footballer Toni Kroos, Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, and English coach Gareth Southgate.

Australian player Josh Cavallo, who is considered homosexual, had previously announced his fear for his safety during his participation in the Qatar World Cup.

This prompted the CEO of the 2022 World Cup, Nasser al-Khater, to say that Qatar is a hospitable country, but we have our own customs and traditions.

But the fiercest position came from the Dutch fans, who announced a boycott of the World Cup, and only 3,000 fans will attend, as a form of “solidarity” with the homosexual campaigns that Qatar rejects.


Solidarity Voices

However, there were many global voices in solidarity with Doha, including the goalkeeper of the English club Tottenham Hotspur and the French national team, Hugo Lloris, who revealed that there is great pressure on the players to speak against Qatar.

He told Eurosport on November 15, 2022, that if one had to put pressure on Qatar, it should have been 10 years ago, as now is too late.

He went on to say: “We must show respect for the host country of the World Cup.” He added: “When we welcome foreigners in France, we often want them to abide by our rules and respect our culture.”

“I will do the same while I’m in Qatar,” he added.

On November 16, 2022, British sports writer for the newspaper The Times, Henry Winter, on his personal account on Twitter, published a video clip of the English team’s training at al-Wakrah Stadium in Qatar, with the sound of the call to prayer, which clearly circulated throughout the place.

Winter wrote on the video: “[England] training in Doha amidst call to prayer.”

The clip went viral on social media, and Winter responded to a fan’s comment when he wrote, “Beautiful voice,” saying: “Its beauty is incredible.”

One of the tweeters commented on the video: This is the goal that the World Cup is played in a different place every 4 years, to see other cultures, customs, and traditions of different peoples.