The World Cup is presently underway in Qatar.
As I noted previously, the Western media has discovered that Qatar is a rich oil sheikdom with laws and social mores straight out of seventh-century Arabia. The Western media has repeatedly pointed out that, golly gee, Qatar isn’t much like France, Sweden, or the United States.
Qatar is not even much like Red State America, much as progressives on MSNBC like to whine about the “Christian Taliban” in Trump Country.
While folks in Trump Country might not embrace gay marriage and drag shows for second graders (I feel creepy even typing that last phrase), no one in the American South is proposing that gays be locked up and beaten…along with adulterers.
Welcome to Qatar! Where—oh, by the way, you can’t drink alcohol, either. And ladies, put those midriff-exposing tops away. Try this nice burqa on for size. The burqa is available in either black or brown. Take your pick!
A mere decade or so ago, our media may have been able to overlook Qatar’s wonderful, truncheon-wielding multicultural diversity. The Western world, however, is currently in the grip of a full-bore obsession with all things gay, transgender, polyamorous, and gender fluid. That simply doesn’t square with an Islamic society.
The Qataris, moreover, didn’t read the memo on multiculturalism. In the Muslim Middle East, multiculturalism means that you do things their way, or they swing those truncheons. If that doesn’t convince you to toe the line, they behead you.
The Qataris, ergo, are not impressed with the Western media’s constant complaints that their country is patriarchal, homophobic and (insert your favorite outrage word of choice). What were you expecting? they might reasonably ask. This is Qatar, after all.
Ayman Mohyeldin, an MSNBC host who once worked for Qatar’s Al Jazeera network, recently kvetched that Western coverage of Qatar demonstrates “the depths of Western prejudice, performative moral outrage and, perhaps most significantly, gross double standards.”
Double standards, indeed. After all, it isn’t as if we don’t make women walk around in full-length body coverings, and maintain laws on the books that include flogging as a punishment.
Or…wait…we don’t impose such restrictions on women, and maintain such laws. But it is still impolite of us to point out what the Qataris do.
The Qataris were also unimpressed with FIFA chief Gianni Infantino’s attempt to scold the Western media for scolding the Qataris. “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker,” Infantino babbled at a press conference last week.
This produced outrage and mockery in Qatar. You can’t blame the Qataris on that one. Infantino’s fence-sitting declaration, delivered in broken English, was ridiculous. Infantino should have just said, “Hey, this is Qatar we’re talking about. What did you expect? A ‘pride’ parade? Get over it.”
For what it’s worth, I’m no fan of the way the Qataris do things. There are a lot of countries I would like to visit someday. Qatar is not high on the list, landing somewhere between Belarus and Afghanistan.
I can’t help thinking, though, that no two groups deserve each other so much, as the self-righteous Western media, and the self-righteously offended Middle East.