FIFA World Cup in Qatar Shows Double Standards

Written by Bushra Bani-Salman

December 5, 2022

Qatar is about the size of Connecticut, with less than three million people residing in the country, and 88 percent of the population are foreigners. The tournament in the country was questioned due to the country’s disapproval of LGBTQ people, as well as their mistreatment of migrant workers, which account for 95 percent of the country’s labor force. Most of the migrant workers come from South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Qatar has spent at least $220 billion to prepare for the tournament. 

According to the government, 15,000 non-Qataris died in the country between 2010 and 2019. These deaths are associated by heat exhaustion, suicide, physic and mental strains from long hours, and bad living conditions. The government claimed these deaths were due to natural causes and cardiac failures, making it hard to really understand the cause of death without investigation. 

Europeans and the Western world alike have been very vocal about Qatar’s treatment of the LGBTQ and migrant workers. Both autocracies are loved by Arabs, but only the UAE has touched the hearts of Westerners. Singers have refused to perform in Qatar, but have performed in the UAE, despite their human rights violations. Qataris are frustrated with the double standards, asking why Europeans buy natural gas from their country if they believe the country is too tainted to watch the tournament there. Qataris believe the campaign’s criticism stems from racism, Orientalism, and Islamophobia. 

A professor of journalism at Qatar’s Doha Institute for Graduate Studies says reporters abide by ignorance and Orientalist tropes, lumping all Arab countries together, despite their unique differences. When a French reporter was asked about his impression of Qatar, he responded with, “There are a lot of mosques.” In another instance, The Times of London said, “Qataris are unaccustomed to seeing women in Western dress in their country”, despite the fact that women wearing jeans and short dresses are common since foreigners make up a majority of the population.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: