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Al-Estiklal Newspaper

While Criticizing Qatar, Why Did the West Ignore England Fans Dressed Up as Crusaders?

2022/11/30 15:11:00 | Reports
English fans caused a stir in Qatar after they wore the Crusader Knights outfit.
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Despite the mockery of some media outlets of Qatar’s call for preachers to introduce the World Cup guests to the tolerant teachings of Islam, claiming that they refused to introduce religion into sports, European teams and fans deliberately provoked Muslims on their land during the 2022 World Cup.

The British wore the clothes of the Crusader knights and carried swords in Qatar, and European teams tried to put homosexuality badges on their arms in violation of the terms of the International Federation of Football Associations FIFA and the traditions of the Muslim country.

A number of British fans were keen—as usual in football tournaments—to wear the uniforms of the Crusader knights as they roamed around Doha and chanted “God save the king,” and no one stopped them, and some took memorial photos with them. But when they were prevented from entering the stands for security reasons for fear of angering the majority of Muslims present at the matches, they caused an uproar, and British newspapers came out accusing Qatar of not allowing freedom and violating human rights.


What Happened?

“The English Crusaders caused a stir after they wore the costume of the Crusader knights in a Muslim country, which caused shock and criticism from the people of Qatar and the fans of the matches who were shocked by their behavior, according to what the British newspaper Daily Mail said on November 22, 2022.

It pointed out: “England fans dressed as Christian Crusaders have angered Muslims, and some have criticized the conservative Islamic regime for its treatment of supporters of European teams who donned these clothes or gay badges.”

It indicated that the Qatari security prevented those who wore the clothes of the Crusader knights from entering the matches because they were wearing what is considered provocative clothes and because they carried swords and shields (from foam) and chains, along with other costumes of the Knights Templar with the sign of the red cross of St. George.

Their provocative clothes angered foreigners, as well as Muslims, who wrote on social media criticizing these athletic crusaders.


Sensitive Differences

British newspapers admitted that although the scene of the appearance of some English fans in the clothes of the Crusader knights is familiar in England’s foreign matches over the years, in Qatar, however, it was more controversial for it is the first World Cup tournament to be held in an Islamic country.

The Daily Mail reported that they were asked to show their faces to security and take off their helmets, and they left them after they confirmed their identities and possessed residence and entry cards to watch the World Cup.

The Telegraph newspaper said on November 23, 2022, that the Qatari authorities asked England fans not to wear the clothes of the Crusader knights at the World Cup in Qatar for fear that it would be considered an insult to Muslims, noting that two people wearing them were not allowed to enter.

It quoted the Kick It Out Foundation, a charity that fights racism and discrimination in football, as supporting Qatar’s decision to prevent them from entering the stands.

A spokesman for the foundation warned fans against wearing crusader costumes in Qatar, stressing that it was “not welcome in the Islamic world.”

He stated, “Travel advice issued by the British Foreign Office prior to the tournament invited fans to learn about local customs in Qatar, and we encourage fans to follow this approach.

“Our fans should be aware that there are things that hurt the feelings of Muslims in Qatar, like drinking alcohol in public or wearing the clothes of the Knights Templar, said Iman Atta, director of Tell Mama, a British project that tracks anti-Islam hate.”

She emphasized that the fans may not wear these clothes to anger the Qataris on purpose but out of a desire to support England, and yet they must be sensitive and aware of these deep sensitivities in a Muslim country.


Provocative or Naive

British Football Supporters’ Union chief cheerleader Ashley Brown said the fans were likely naive and did not intend to be deliberately offensive or Islamophobic and may not understand the implications of what they were wearing.

But observers saw that the British and Europeans deliberately provoked the anger of Muslims in their own homes with these costumes and wines that the English public considers a major part of the World Cup as well as the manifestations and propaganda for the LGBT community.

They affirmed that the FIFA laws themselves require the public to respect the laws of the country hosting the World Cup. They believe that Westerners should respect the culture and traditions of Islamic Qatar and not view this as a violation of freedoms, and not deliberately escalate to distort the hosting of an Arab Muslim country for a world championship.

In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, British police warned of the danger of England fans inadvertently insulting Qatari citizens.

Mark Roberts, Chief Constable of Cheshire and England’s national football captain, said that the World Cup is being played in a different part of the world with a completely different culture, and one of his fears is that fans will inadvertently offend or cause trouble.

But football fans in England have defended their right to wear crusader uniforms during the European Championships even though such clothing may be offensive to Muslims.

Ayman al-Rifai, a specialist in governance and sports law, says that what Qatar and its leadership have done is their right and is governed by international law and the Vienna Convention, regardless of sports or anything else.

The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) is an international agreement that regulates treaties between states.

Al-Rifai explained on November 23 that these agreements preserved the sovereignty of each country and the fact that Qatar is a Muslim country and alcohol and homosexuality violates the provisions of Islamic law. This is a right reserved for it to prevent that, by the power of the Vienna Convention, according to the United States-based Alhurra website.

He ruled out the existence of Qatari pressure on FIFA and said that what Qatar demanded is a legitimate right within the framework of international law and the Vienna Convention.





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christian knights crusades identity qatar world cup world cup qatar 2022