A poster recently made the rounds on the internet. Shown on it: various rules of conduct in Qatar (archived here). According to this, the following are prohibited in the desert state: alcohol, dating and homosexuality. It quickly became clear: the poster is not from the government of Qatar, but by a citizens’ movement in Qatar that wants to convey local customs to foreigners. Qatar’s World Cup organizers hastily distanced themselves: the poster did not come from an official source and contained “factually incorrect information,” one said statements. “Qatar has always been an open, tolerant and friendly nation.” For real?
no It is factually correct: Qatar criminalizes publicly shown homosexuality. Qatar’s penal code for “homosexuality between men and sexual debauchery” stipulates “no less than one year” in prison Article 296 on “incitement to immorality, immorality and prostitution”.
Not all fans are welcome in Qatar
Homosexuals can – if they are discovered – be prosecuted, Qatari Hotels sometimes reject homosexual couples and on Qatari television, moderators make homophobic statements, even threatening the death penalty for homosexuals – is it anyone’s surprise when officials also make homophobic statements? Not really.
DW editor Joscha Weber: “Qatar presents itself as modern, but continues to discriminate against people.”
And yet the international outcry is great after the statements by the Qatari World Cup ambassador and former national player Khalid Salman, who said the following in a ZDF interview: Being gay is “haram”, i.e. forbidden, and “mental damage”. Tolerant? No, not all fans are welcome in Qatar.
And everyone knows that too: FIFA, politicians, the media. And yet now everyone is shocked. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch (HRW) have long been pointing to massive human rights violations in Qatar. HRW recently reported on LGBTQ people in Qatar suffering abuse in detention. When the Emir of Qatar says, as he did recently at a meeting with Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz, that “all people are welcome” in Qatar and then adds: “We expect respect for our culture,” so this means nothing other than that not everyone is allowed to come as they are. And the fact that the German federal government hardly strikes a critical note may also have something to do with the fact that gas imports are becoming a new dependency, which Qatar is already as leverage uses.
Women as “wrapped candy”?
Qatar is playing a wrong game. Outwardly, it likes to present itself as a modern, aspiring state that can certainly point to a process of transformation in recent years. But Qatar still discriminates against people based on their sexual orientation. And by the way, also because of their gender. Another scene from the is no different ZDF documentary “Geheimsache Qatar” understand, in which confidants of the Qatari World Cup ambassador compare women to “sweets” that one would rather enjoy “wrapped”, i.e. with a headscarf, than unwrapped.
Deep insightful statements: World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman in an interview with sports presenter Jochen Breyer
Will this World Cup really improve the human rights situation in Qatar? Once the ball rolls, will anyone really talk about it apart from some western media? And will anything really be done after the World Cup for the LGBTQ community, the women or the guest workers in the country? Doubts remain.