FIFA Cup Exposes Qatar’s Ugly Reality

I’ve changed my mind.

I used to believe awarding any kind of international games, conventions or exhibitions to autocratic dictatorships and human rights abusers was a travesty and should NEVER be done.

I still believe part of that …. awarding any kind of international games, conventions or exhibitions to autocratic dictatorships and human rights abusing nations IS wrong.

However, in today’s much more politically, technologically sophisticated and social media-transformed world, when terrible dictatorships and countries do become host countries, it provides great opportunities to EXPOSE WORLDWIDE their demeaning … even barbaric … laws, policies and practices, including dismal treatment of their own people and any others who fall into their grip.

Like Qatar.

As a news junkie, I have long been aware of Qatar’s inhumane treatment of migrant workers, its dictatorial ruling system, its medieval laws, its severe penalties against use/possession recreational drugs, its threats and penalties against homosexual behaviour and its despicable restrictions on women.

“Women in Qatar must obtain permission from their male guardians to marry, study abroad on government scholarships, work in many government jobs, travel abroad until certain ages, receive some forms of reproductive health care and to act as a child’s primary guardian, even when they are divorced,” according to Wikipedia.

” Qatar Preventive Security Department forces have arbitrarily arrested lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and subjected them to ill-treatment in detention,” Human Rights Watch reported just weeks ago.

Why don’t Qataris speak up?

Well, here’s how Freedom House has described Qatar’s family-ruled “governmental” dictatorship: “Qatar’s hereditary emir holds all executive and legislative authority and ultimately controls the judiciary. Political parties are not permitted, and the only elections are for an advisory municipal council.”

Yet, THIS is the country FIFA rewarded with the World Cup games???

It should not have happened.

Not to forget, Qatar also is the home of Al Jazeera, the heavily government-funded international “news” operation I would describe as the world’s most dangerous English language media propaganda operation. (It makes Fox News and MSNBC actually seem fair and balanced! LOL!)

After watching (monitoring) it regularly for years, I see Qatar’s AJA as having very clear objectives: Islamifying Europe, with constant pressures on Europe and the UK to keep accepting thousands more refugees/economic migrants every week, on desperate journeys from the Mid-East and Africa (why doesn’t Qatar welcome them?); opposition to the Abdel el-Sisi government in Egypt and support for the extremist Muslim Brotherhood; terribly one-sided biased reporting of Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I believe showing clear sympathy/support for Hamas (NEVER any tough questions for them!) and even honouring with their “reporting” Palestinian terrorists killed in shootouts, while ignoring/downplaying their civilian victims or grieving families.

THIS is the Qatar the world knew little about until FIFA awarded the emirate the games.

However, just as the world learned a great deal about corruption, human rights abuses in Russia and China when they hosted Olympic Games, the five billion people around the world who will watch the World Cup now know the ugly realities of Qatar.

And can mourn the reported 6,000 to 8,000 poverty-stricken migrant workers, from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the Philippines who died while building Qatar’s FIFA venues, forced to work up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week in temperatures that reached 45 C (113 F).

Hard to enjoy the FIFA games this year … knowing all this.

Harv Oberfeld

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