Fearing the dreaded LGBTQ “agenda”, the authorities in 2022 football World Cup host country Qatar have confiscated a batch of toys because they are rainbow-coloured.
On Monday, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry proudly announced on Twitter that its inspectors had triumphed over “un-Islamic” values apparently threatening the nation’s people.
In a caption to a picture of rainbow-coloured toys displayed in a store, the ministry stated that it had “carried out inspection campaigns on a number of shops in different regions of the country.”
It explained that, “the campaigns resulted in the seizure and release of a number of violations, represented by children playing with ‘slogans’ that violate Islamic values, customs and traditions.”
Some praised and defended the ministry for standing up against the sale of materials that are “morally and culturally harmful” to the country.
“I am surprised by those who denounce the ministry’s behavior and look as if it is a normal thing. The ministry prevented these things for clear and dangerous reasons,” said one Twitter user. Another added that “Customs, values and morals are a wealth that must be preserved, especially in line with the true religion.”
Others ridiculed the ministry, pointing out that even if the rainbow colours have been adopted as a symbol of the LGBTQ community, context and logic are all-important. “If the rainbow comes out after the rain, blow the sky with a bazooka for Islamic values,” mocked a commentator.
Unfortunately, the reality facing the LGBTQ community in Qatar is deadly serious. Article 285 of Qatar’s legal code penalises anyone found guilty of intercourse with a person of the same sex with up to life in prison.
Muslims prosecuted for homosexuality can in theory also face the death penalty under Sharia law, although there is no evidence this has been imposed in recent years.
FIFA has been criticised for appointing Qatar as the host of next year’s World Cup because of its oppressive stance on homosexuality and other human rights violations. In 2019, Nasser al-Khater, chief executive of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 promised a tolerant approach towards LGBTQ fans attending the event.
“I would like to assure any fan, of any gender, (sexual) orientation, religion, race to rest assured that Qatar is one of the most safe countries in the world – and they’ll all be welcome here,” he said.
In October, British human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell slammed footballer David Beckham for signing a deal to be “the face” of the 2022 World Cup.
“David Beckham has been a great ally for gay and women’s rights. His decision to promote a homophobic and sexist regime like Qatar comes as a big shock. I urge David to think again. His work for Qatar could cause grave damage to his reputation,” said Tatchell.