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Responding to the criticism of Qatar

THE HOSTS OF THE Football World Cup is Qatar, a small middle-eastern nation. China is not one of the teams involved in the games — but played a huge role in constructing the infrastructure for the games. For a full report on that, click here.

For a response to the criticism that is being levelled at Qatar, mainly from the Western media, you can scroll down for a text report, or watch the video below.

Here are four things you won’t see in most news coverage.

One. The Qatari’s choice to ban alcohol at such a large sports event is crazy, we read. But is it? Alcohol was also banned at several equivalent European events—and they are not even Muslim countries.

Two. Astonishing numbers of people who look like me died building the football stadiums, we read. I’m sad for the families of anyone who died at work, but the truth still matters.

Journalists have the numbers confused. Some are just made up. The most quoted number of stadium deaths, six thousand five hundred, is actually the total number of South Asians who have died anywhere in Qatar in the past decade from ANY CAUSE, including aging accountants having heart attacks.

But didn’t we read that working conditions are the worst anywhere? We did, but workers say they are the best in the Gulf region. The United Nations International Labor Organization set up an office in Doha to check this and they say it is true.

Incidentally, South Asians themselves dislike the implication that we need to be rescued by white saviors, as if we are stupid to have chosen to work in Qatar. In these migrant workers home countries, working conditions are terrible—or would be if the jobs actually existed. In too many places, they don’t.

Three. We’re told that it is an outrage to hold the World Cup in a place where homosexuality is illegal. Okay. But the same complaints were completely absent when the World Cup was held in England in 1966 – where, yes, homosexuality was illegal at the time.

The inconvenient truth is that different cultures develop at different rates. Surely no one would be so arrogant as to say western stances on all topics have to be instantly adopted everywhere without delay?  Wait. The New York Times says that every day, as do most branches of the western media. That’s their constant underlying theme. 

Four. Western organisations like America’s Freedom House condemn Qatar by labelling it as “Not Free”, their label for countries which don’t adhere to the western liberal democracy model.

It’s true that Qatar is not a liberal democracy. But simply look at the numbers, and you’ll understand. The population consists of 320,000 “locals” and 2.9 million “foreigners”. To give everyone an equal vote would be like insisting to a pilot that the passengers should control the aircraft because there are more of them. It would make no sense.

You know why there is so much disinformation? Well, I’m sad to say this, but there is always is, when people outside the Anglosphere and its friends try to do anything.

But it is particularly ironic to see British journalists judging the Qatar system harshly.

Quick history lesson: The British created Qatar. They designed the system of governance. And they appointed the rulers.

The area was governed directly by the British until 1971. Then the British installed the current system. From that date onwards, the economy has been underpinned by western purchases of Qatar oil and Qatari purchases of western weapons.

What to do about all this? Simple. Ignore the politics – and enjoy the sports.

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