Long before the FIFA world cup kicked off in Doha, Qatar (Sunday November 20), the west’s cultural imperialism had gone into overdrive.
It began with mispronunciation of Qatar’s name.
The bone-lazy and habitually ignorant westerners have not learnt to pronounce its name correctly.
They keep calling it, Qa-Taar. Its closer to the pronunciation of the word ‘cutter’ with the ‘t’ pronounced softly.
But how can one educate ignorant people who insist on their inherent effortless superiority?
The west has a long laundry list of complaints.
Beer and alcohol would not be sold in the stadium or near it.
Gay and lesbian rights will not be openly celebrated.
And Qatar exploited expatriate workers to build the $200-billion extravaganza, the most expensive facilities ever for the world cup.
Before addressing these issues, let us state that host Qatar kicks off with Ecuador to launch the month-long competition.
Not surprisingly, the Qataris are very excited and hope their team wins.
Also, no surprise that Qatari fans outnumber Ecuador’s by a huge margin.
Let us, however, return to the west’s gripe about no alcohol and its social and sexual mores.
Are beer and alcohol part of the sport?
According to the Discover Qatar page on the World Cup website:
“Alcohol is not part of local culture, but hospitality is. Alcohol is served in licensed restaurants, bars and hotels and will be available in additional locations during the tournament, including the FIFA Fan Festival (after 6:30 pm).”
Let us also state for the record that while Qatar is overwhelmingly a Muslim country, its system of governance is not Islamic.
It is a hereditary sheikhdom but the world cup is not about kicking democracy down the throats of undemocratic rulers.
The rowdiness and vandalism experienced in Europe following football matches is well known.
Beer and alcohol consumption contribute significantly to such anti-social conduct.
The FIFA world cup president Gianni Infantino tweeted:
“If you can't drink beer for three hours, I think you can survive. There are many countries that ban alcohol in stadiums, like France, but since it's a Muslim country [Qatar], that's a problem.”
The French, heavy drinkers like most Europeans, felt it necessary to ban alcohol in stadiums because it leads to rowdy behaviour and violence.
Why should Qatar allow such conduct to erupt in its midst when it probably does not even have the capacity to deal with rowdy western crowds?
Further, it is certain that if punch drunk westerners were prevented from smashing glass and engaging in fist-fights with fans of an opposing team, there would be loud protests in western media outlets about “intolerant” Arabs.
Regarding people’s sexual orientations, again this is largely a western obsession.
While homosexuality is banned in Qatar, FIFA president Infantino insisted that all World Cup visitors would be welcome regardless of sexual orientation.
Is the world cup about promoting homosexuality or about playing soccer (or football, according to some)?
Finally, the complaint about Qatar not paying fair wages to expatriate workers is correct.
The west, however, is hardly in a position to complain.
After all, western companies made a killing in charging inflated prices for building the $200-billion infrastructure.
Nobody complained about that.
If the west really cares about low wages because they sympathize with workers from third world countries, how about allowing the desperate refugees arriving in rickety boats on their shores?
Many including children have drowned in a desperate bid to get ashore.
Western regimes have set up cages for these desperate people on remote islands and locked them up as animals.
It is time to call out the west’s hypocrisy.