أبريل 18, 2024

Qatar world Cup and the people’s rights…

Haytham Manna
Our primary, as Arab and/or Muslim-originated human Rights defenders, is that we have been in a direct contact, some of us for almost half a century, with the estern countries of refuge which itself forms a mark of disgrace for the
tyrannical governments that oppressed their free peoples with iron and fire. This asylum great figures to be in the forefront of the global human rights struggle with a global and human approach, in word and deed, rather than a narrow
Western view, The latter that considers the “Western self” as the spirit of civilization and knowledge, and therefore, it must impose its own knowledge and experiences on the entire world as the legitimate carrier of freedom and
Prosperity. Perhaps the World Cup in Qatar demonstrated this issue in an unprecedented way!
It can be said, without favoritism or prejudice, that the State of Qatar, among other non-Western countries, has realized early the significance and strength of the so-called “fourth power” and “soft power” in the foundation of the global
system starting with Al-Jazeera media project and not ending with investing in the most popular sport worldwide, the football. This is a difficult-to-digest matter for Europeans and North Americans. In these two areas, Qatar has fought most of its battles within the prevailing rules of the game, in which “Western pride” could hardly bear. Whilst the “Ocean Viking” humanitarian placed in a military base to send some refugees back to their countries and while over five million Europeans
find jobs in Gulf countries, western-media was only talking about banning alcohol at the world cup stadiums, “homosexuality” situation in the Arab countries and Qatar, and to some extent the foreign workers’ rights situation in the construction of World Cup facilities.
Eight years ago, we, as a human rights organization, were the first to contact the Qatari authorities regarding the conditions of foreign workers matter, it is not for Westerners journalists, woke up recently on this issue, to teach lessons on the
subject. As for the “homosexuality” subject, perhaps it is the very much hypocrite knowing its history in Europe.
When I was a student at Marie and Pierre Curie University in Paris at psychiatric department in the 1980s, our professorwas describing homosexuality as a mental disorder according to the 1951 definition. I remember asking him: “Do you think
that the philosopher Michel Foucault and the novelist Proust suffer from a mental disorder? He replied: “The exception does not make the rule.” Although a plethora of both works was translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Urdu, yet we do not find any discriminatory or contemptuous reference in what was written or translated about themconcerning their sexual orientation in Muslim-majority countries!
According to a detailed compilation of the historical and ethnographic material of pre-industrial cultures, presented by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss in 1982″strong disapproval of homosexuality was recorded in 41% of 42 cultures; was neither accepted nor ignored by 21%; and 12% reported non-existence of such a concept”, which, in my opinion, makes the inclusion of such issue in the International Bill of Human Rights, quoting Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī “the necessity of what is not necessary”. In other words pushing the international human rights movement into side battles while the six economic, social, civil, political, cultural and environmental rights arein a state of decline on the global level.
By having a look on the French legislation history, find that the French Revolution’s Penal Code of 1791 has suspended the execution of homosexuals, nevertheless, the abolition of legal differences between homosexuality and the relationship among the two sexes was practically abolished in 1982.
The English language is full of pejorative terms against homosexuals including but not limited to, queer, fagot, fairy, poof, and poofter. Same-sex relations remained the subject of criminal punishment until the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967 in England and Wales was issued allowing same-sex relationship based on the condition of consent and after the age of 21 years. This law was not applied in Northern Ireland until 1982. No body forget the Gay Genocide in Germany less than a century before? In China, the criminal penalties were lifted in 2001. We can, through records find when exactly homosexuality as a “mental disorder” disappeared from European universities’ curriculum, and when the penal code got
lifted in these countries. This movement was global, but rather national, or probably Western European at max From the International Human Rights point of view, all chose to avoid precising this issue. This ecause arguably the phenomenon of homosexuality is “universal”, for and in all civilizations and peoples, and torture is a global phenomenon too; hence, it is better, as long as International Human Rights Bill do not bear any discriminatory, not to specialize in this problematic subject.
Unfortunately, today, football players of several clubs are being arbitrarily and repressively forced to carry LGBTQ badge (one love)! So, where is the freedom of expression on this issue? Accordingly, we consider the position of FIFA President,
Gianni Infantino, to punish the players who carry this badge, as a correct position.
Because it respects the right to difference, and it refuses to politicize football by imposing a non-universal and non-legal rule on all people.
As for the last topic, which is laughable, the stadium’s alcohol ban necessary to remind the media that there are more than 3,000 non-governmental associations in Europe calling for an alcohol ban in stadiums.
What prompted me to write this article was the headline of “Libération”, the wellknown French newspaper, “ugly little Qatar”. Has the meanness of criticism reached the level of pejorative insults?
The response to this newspaper, which reduced itself to this racist rhetoric, came from a neighboring Gulf country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I mean when the latter defeated Argentina with all its stars of European clubs (and The Champion
after the redaction of this article- Translator note). This win came as a lesson to whoever considers themselves the strongest and the smartest! We live amid the end of an era, and must get used to new rules for dealing with others.

Haytham Manna
Translation: Mamdouh Alqudsi