Ahead of the FIFA 2022 World Cup, set to kick off on November 20, the Qatari press published numerous cartoons relating to the event. Many of the cartoons are aimed at rebuffing the Western criticism levelled at Qatar, especially accusations of human rights violations against migrant workers, many of whom reportedly died during the construction of the new stadiums, and against the LGBTQ community. The cartoons portray the Western criticism as false, tendentious and hypocritical, and point to human rights violations in Europe. Others promise the success of the World Cup games in Qatar despite the attempts to undermine them.
Below is a sampling of the cartoons published in the Qatari press in advance of the FIFA 2022 World Cup games:
Rejection Of Western Criticism Against Qatar: It Is Based On Rumors And Lies
Many of the cartoons portray the Western allegations of Qatari human rights violations as false, misleading and tendentious:
The symbol of the World Cup in Qatar flicks away a blond man representing the Western accusations against Qatar (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 25, 2022)
"The lies," "the slander," "the distortion of facts," "the negative criticism" and "the tendentious rumors" about the World Cup in Qatar belong in the trash (Al-Watan, Qatar, November 1, 2022)
The World Cup mascot pops the balloons of the "lies," "rumors" and "deception" coming out of the mouth of "Western racism" (Al-Sharq, Qatar, November 12, 2022)
Claims in the British Guardian about the World Cup in Qatar are false (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 17, 2022)
Migrant workers in Qatar laugh to read the reports about the violations of their rights (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 15, 2022)
"Qatar is facing a vicious Western attack for hosting the World Cup," but "global solidarity" with it knocks out Qatar's "racist", "dishonest" and "resentful" detractors (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 30, 2022)
The World Cup trophy issues a red card against "all the misleading, hostile and jealous" critics of Qatar (Al-Watan, Qatar, October 29, 2022)
Attacks On European Countries For Their Criticism Of Qatar
Other Qatari press cartoons attack the European countries, depicting them as hypocritical and conveying that they commit the very crimes that they attribute to Qatar. Some of the cartoons respond to specific European criticisms or acts of protest. For example, some condemn France, after the French satirical weekly Le Canard enchaîné published a cartoon depicting Qatari footballers as terrorists. Others come out against Denmark, whose team will wear toned-down uniforms during the games as a protest against Qatar's human rights abuses, and yet others respond to criticism recently voiced by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser.
"The West's Double Standard": its officials make a fuss about "workers' rights in Qatar" yet are unmoved by "racism," "deportation of refugees" and "hatred of Islam" in their own countries (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 18, 2022)
Europe wants to monopolize football tournaments: "the World Cup," "the Europe Cup," "the Asia Cup" and even "the Ooredoo Cup" (the Qatari league). (Al-Sharq, Qatar, November 6, 2022)
"On occasion of World Cup: French perfume smelling of fresh racism" (Al-Sharq, Qatar, November 8, 2022)
In a tweet, Al-Sharq cartoonist Muhammad Al-Latif shared the cartoon posted by the French weekly Le Canard enchaîné (top), which depicts the Qatari footballers as terrorists, and responded with a cartoon of his own (bottom), which shows the French footballers as terrorists (Twitter.com/mo7md_alatee, November 8, 2022)
"French paper harms Qatar with racist cartoon" (Al-Sharq, Qatar, November 9, 2022)
Denmark, guilty of "lies, schemes, racism, restriction of rights, deportation of refugees, and hatred of Islam" points an accusatory finger at Qatar (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 3, 2022)
Germany's interior minister, who spoke against Qatar, stains the World Cup in Qatar (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 29, 2022)
Germany's interior minister points an accusatory finger at Qatar while her country's own record reeks: "Amnesty [accuses it] of violating human rights," it has "a rightwing extremist group," it "violates workers' rights," and it is guilty of "religious racism," "phone tapping," "racism based on skin color" and violating "refugees' rights" (Al-Watan, Qatar, October 30, 2022)
The World Cup Will Be A Success Despite "The Schemes And Lies" And The Attempts To Sabotage It
Other cartoons conveyed that the World Cup in Qatar will be a success despite the attempts to undermine it.
"The opening whistle of the World Cup will be heard at the appointed time despite the schemes and lies" (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 12, 2022)
The achievements of the World Cup in Qatar will leave their mark despite all the "dubious campaigns" (Al-Sharq, Qatar, November 7, 2022)
"The dogs bark but the caravan moves on" (Al-Raya, Qatar, October 31, 2022)
The World Cup stands firm despite all the arrows being aimed at it (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 10, 2022)
The World Cup mascot makes it to "the kick-off" despite the attempts to harm him (Al-Sharq, Qatar, November 9, 2022)
"The World Cup in Qatar" stands firm while the pathetic attempts to harm it have no effect (Al-Watan, Qatar, November 7, 2022)
The World Cup mascot protects the games from the smear campaign (Al-Raya, Qatar, November 10, 2022)
The World Cup in Qatar – "an outstanding [Arab] championship." (Al-Sharq, Qatar, October 22, 2022)
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10307: As World Cup Approaches, Qatar Rejects Western Criticism Of Its Human Rights Record, Hits Back With Accusations Of Its Own, November 8, 2022.
 Twitter.com/hummel1923, September 28, 2022. See also MEMRI reports: Special Dispatch No. 10264, Qataris, Pro-Qatar Twitter Users Launch Campaign Condemning Denmark For Planning To Highlight Qatar’s Human Rights Violations During FIFA World Cup, October 17, 2022.
 Apnews.com, October 28, 2022; See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 10307: As World Cup Approaches, Qatar Rejects Western Criticism Of Its Human Rights Record, Hits Back With Accusations Of Its Own, November 8, 2022.
 The cartoon was not published on the Al-Sharq daily.