Qatar World Cup and the Western hypocrisy
The World Cup tournament in Qatar has faced quite a lot of backlash ever since Qatar was handed over the reins for the World cup of 2022. Recently Anthony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, remarked on the rainbow armbands in the tournament in Qatar. According to him, the ban is “concerning” and goes against the “freedom of expression.”
These remarks came right after the US faced another mass shooting in Colorado. Moreover, this mass shooting took place in a gay nightclub that resulted in the deaths of five people and injured 18 others. A country that prides itself in being vocal about human rights and humanitarian crises all over the world: the US showed concern over the ban on rainbow armbands. At the same time, their citizens are targeted and massacred over several things.
The independent UN Human Rights found that LGBTQ rights in the US are “under a concerted attack.” Moreso, these attacks are being “deliberately undermined” by the state governments. We have yet to add the racism and discrimination in these aspects that make up the “freedom of expression” in the United States. In 2016, the US faced the most extensive mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, which killed 50 people. The US has far more pressing matters to deal with at home than to scold other nations over human rights violations.
Qatar has been under immense scrutiny by the US and Europe over gay rights and migrant worker exploitation. The ban on drinking beer in stadiums was also filed under human rights violation. It seems that the Middle Eastern desert was the perfect landscape for the release of years of pent-up western chauvinism.
The countries that have committed countless human rights violations and continue to do so should not get to lecture others in the name of freedom of expression. This is the absolute hypocrisy of the West. They do not get to have the moral high ground over Qatar or any other state for that matter.
According to a scholar of Iran and the Middle East at Stanford university in Florida, Navid Zarrinnal, the “western supremacist attitudes and cultural imperialism” showcased in the World Cup tournament happening in Qatar are ‘disguised’ as “advocacy for human rights” as usual.
The “savior complex” of the western powers makes it extremely difficult for them to reflect on their actions and what kind of dual narratives they have been promoting. The migrant worker abuses have also been highlighted by the western powers to criticize the decision to choose Qatar as the host of the 2022 World Cup tournament back in 2010. On the contrary, these same western firms have long been benefitting from the labor conditions in the country.
Many world cup projects, including hotels, residences, stadiums, and roads, have been done under western-based construction companies. And these westerners in these industries also have been earning higher salaries in Qatar. They are one of the biggest beneficiaries of the unjust and unfair wage distribution in the middle east, including Qatar. Yet these facts are conveniently left out and therefore not addressed by the western media and critics when they openly criticize the country’s other bans in this tournament. Tax-free salaries, compensation packages, and accommodation expenses make it easier for them to turn a blind eye to these facts.
According to British journalist Piers Morgan, these western media corporations that have openly criticized the host country over human rights violations and labor conditions have sent their representatives to enjoy the luxuries made possible by these migrant workers. The hypocrisy is pretty evident here if one cares to look deep enough.
The Italian President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, took a dig at the western hypocrisy in his speech on the eve of the World Cup. According to him, the Europeans should apologize for the next three thousand years for what they have been doing in the past before giving moral lessons to others regarding humanitarian rights and crises.
The United States has done far more damage to the world in the last 3000 years, including killing Native Americans, enslaving Blacks, and bombarding thousands of people. The west is making this a fight against the enlightened and the uncivilized, which ignites the debate between orientalism, white supremacy, and Eurocentrism. Moreover, this tournament is also being dubbed “the desert world cup.”
There has also been outrage over the schedule of this tournament. Because of the searing summer heat, it was decided that the game would take place in November and December. This decision was criticized as it robbed people of a “summer world cup.” Why should all countries schedule their international sporting events according to European holidays? They own the game. Therefore, they think they own all the essential factors of it as well, which leads to classic white supremacy and eurocentrism.
Western hypocrisy needs to be recognized and acknowledged. Western media and power do not get to lecture others over what they have been doing so openly. The humanitarian concerns are valid and ought to be highlighted but that does not make one “holier than thou.”
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