December 1, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10351

Articles In Pakistan's Islamist Urdu Dailies On Qatar's Hosting Of FIFA World Cup: 'The West, Especially The European Union, Is Running A Campaign Against Qatar'; 'Without Doubt... On The Occasion Of World Cup, Qatar Is Openly Propagating Islamic Tenets'

December 1, 2022
Qatar | Special Dispatch No. 10351

In recent reports and editorials, Urdu-language Islamist newspapers in Pakistan have praised Qatar's promotion of Islam at the FIFA World Cup, especially its invitation to Islamic religious scholars from around the world to preach Islam during the tournament.

Two recent articles – one written by Ghazala Aziz for Roznama Jasarat newspaper, titled "Qatar Is Surprising [Us]," and the other, titled "Qatar Won," written by Naseem-ul-Haq Zahidi for Roznama Ummat – lashed out at the West, especially Europe, for targeting Qatar for its violation of human rights of foreign workers and LGBT community.

Both Roznama Ummat and Roznama Jasarat, which is an official organ of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan, are pro-Taliban Islamist newspapers. In the articles translated from Urdu, below, the two newspapers praised Qatar's ban on drinking and restrictions on LGBT fans coming to Qatar for the World Cup. At the same time, the two Islamist dailies celebrated da'wa (i.e., proselytization or invitation to convert to Islam) efforts aimed at the non-Muslim soccer fans.

A screenshot of the article in Roznama Jasarat.

"The FIFA World Cup Started With The Recitation Of The Holy Koran; This Has Happened For The First Time – The Person Reciting The Koran Was A Disabled Hafiz [One Who Memorizes Koran]"

Following are excerpts from Ghazala Aziz article:[1]

"The FIFA World Cup started with the recitation of the Holy Koran; this has happened for the first time. The person reciting the Koran was a disabled hafiz [one who has memorized the Koran], Ghanim Al-Muftah, who is 20 years old. Since childhood, Ghanim had been suffering from a disease in which the lower part of the spine doesn't grow. Therefore, he is disabled in a way that he has no body below the waist. But it's a matter of pride for him and his family that they did not allow it to become a cause for not making progress [in life].

"Ghanim's mother says: 'We encouraged him in every field. During his student days, he used to play soccer wearing gloves. He learned diving as a hobby. He has dived below 200 meters in the sea. He is a motivational speaker in Qatar. He is the owner of an ice cream factory which has six branches in Qatar and employs about 60 persons.' This is the State of Qatar's treatment of the disabled persons and the freedom given to him.

"Qatar has a population of Qataris that is between 300,000 and 350,000, which is just ten percent of the country's total population of 3,000,000. In other words, the number of foreigners in Qatar is higher. In addition to keeping its doors open to foreigners, Qatar ensures higher wages for them. It also provides a strong education and health system.

"Currently, the West, especially the European Union, is running a campaign against Qatar. The reason for this are some restrictions which the government of Qatar has imposed on [soccer] fans. For example, a short dress which keeps shoulders open or is above knees cannot be worn. There is no sale of wine and drinking around stadiums."

"Despite The Entire World's Opposition, The Small Country Of Qatar Is Defending Its Policies With Full Steadfastness [...] Qatar Has Really Surprised The World. The Rulers Of Muslim Countries Need To Learn From Qatar"

"Publishing content about LGBT, waving their flag, or wearing their armband is prohibited. Is it appropriate for the West to talk about it? Right, if in real sense the persons of third gender are present everywhere in the number of point zero, zero, zero, zero, and this time one after zero [sic], there should be talk about rights for them. But those immigrants and disabled who are present in a society in numbers that are hundreds of times higher, what is the role of the West and Europe in terms of their rights?

"In reality, the policy of Europe and the West regarding immigrants conflicts with human rights. A few years ago, as a result of the West's attack on Syria, Libya, and other countries, immigrants headed to Europe where the border security agencies beat them and pushed them away from their coast, whereas children and women were in large numbers in boats, and they sank to their deaths in large numbers and everyone remembers that child [Alan Kurdi] who died near the coast.

"No matter how much Europe talks about upholding human rights, inhuman conditions in packed immigrant camps blow up its claims. Those immigrants have had to face extreme physical violence, forced labor, slavery, and sexual exploitation.

A screenshot of the Roznama Ummat article

"The chief of FIFA [Gianni Infantino] has, in his press conference, hinted at it. He told Europe in clear words to cease its lecturing [about human rights violations by Qatar]; if it is so concerned about men and youths, then it should provide opportunities for them there, not to show fake sympathies; the European nations should apologize for thousands of years to compensate for the treatment they have meted out to people over thousands of years. He made Europe the target of criticism for its double standards.

"He [Infantino] praised the Qatari government for its immigration policy [because] Qatar is providing employment to workers from different countries in large numbers; and what they [the Europeans] do is not even allowing people from those countries whose income level is very low to come. Nevertheless, despite the entire world's opposition, the small country of Qatar is defending its policies with full steadfastness and is simultaneously surprising the world... Qatar has really surprised the world. The rulers of Muslim countries need to learn from Qatar."

"For The First Time In Its 92-Year History, At The Inaugural Ceremony Of This International Event [FIFA World Cup] In An Islamic State, The Verses Of The Holy Koran With Translation Were Recited"

Following are excerpts from Naseem-ul-Haq Zahidi article:[2]

"The spectacular international festival of soccer has begun. For the first time in its 92-year history, at the inaugural ceremony of this international event [FIFA World Cup] in an Islamic state, the verses of the Holy Koran with translation were recited. A physically challenged child, Ghanim Al-Muftah, recited the verse of the Chapter Hujurat which contained the message of equality and Tawheed [Islamic monotheism].

"Without a wheelchair, walking on his hands, Ghanim Al-Muftah has been blessed with performing Umrah [a secondary pilgrimage to Mecca in Islam] in 2017. He has also been playing soccer. By getting a disabled child to inaugurate [the World Cup], Qatar has sent a message to the world that the Holy Koran teaches about unity, tolerance, and sympathy for the disabled, in other words, for lower classes of society. The theme of the inaugural ceremony was 'human unity.'

"Renowned American actor Morgan Freemason [sic] also participated and gave the message for uniting humanity. In this colorful ceremony, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, along with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan, UN Secretary General António Guterres, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and FIFA President [Gianni Infantino], and other international personalities participated in the event.

"Sixty-four matches will be played in eight stadiums in Qatar's five big cities. Like in 2014 and 2018, this time too, the soccer ball manufactured in Pakistan is being used [at the tournament]. The biggest thing to note is that all security for this international tournament has been handed over to Turkish and Pakistani armies. Arab history and culture was highlighted at the ceremony, while modern technology and heart-warming fireworks won the fans' hearts."

"At A Time When The Anti-Muslim Campaign Of Islamophobia Is At Its Peak In America And Europe, The Qatar Government's Steps Are Laudable Since Because Of Them, Islam's Stature Has Been Raised In The Entire World"

"Without doubt, at this time, on the occasion of World Cup, Qatar is openly propagating Islamic tenets; and for the first time, places for prayers and wadhu [ablutions before prayer] have been reserved in stadiums. And good deeds and sacred ahadith [sayings and actions] of Prophet Muhammad have been displayed in streets and on cross-roads and highways in order to introduce Islam to tourists and fans arriving from different countries.

"At a time when the anti-Muslim campaign of Islamophobia is at its peak in America and Europe, the Qatar government's steps are laudable since because of them  Islam's stature has been raised in the entire world. Renowned religious scholar [wanted by India] Professor Dr. Zakir Naik has been especially invited for religious lectures at the stadium during the FIFA World Cup. Several people have embraced Islam as a result of Dr. Zakir Naik's religious lectures.[3]

"On the other hand, hundreds of scholars and Ulema [Islamic clerics] from around the world have been invited and are performing the duty of Tableegh [preaching] in different languages. Two thousand local Ulema are also engaged in performing duty at the World Cup. Muezzins [those who call Muslims to prayer] in the mosques across the country have been replaced by muezzins with soul-stirring voices. All mosques have been presented like Islamic museums where anybody can come at any time to seek information [about Islam].

"Translations of the Koran in different languages and books on Islamic history and the life of Prophet Muhammad are being distributed. The spectacular inaugural ceremony was shown live on 500 channels around the world. The western media organizations, British channels BBC and ITV, boycotting the ceremony, did not broadcast it. Rather, soon after the ceremony, a report on so-called violations of workers' rights in Qatar was presented. In reaction, the soccer fans across the world criticized these channels heavily."

"France Is The Country From Where The First Crusader Armies Had Started And It Was At The Forefront In The War Against Islam [During The Crusades]; Its Behavior Still Continues Today"

"The nature of the Western anti-Muslim hostility and hysteria can be gauged from the fact that a French newspaper on its frontpage published a cartoon on Qatar's soccer players in which it didn't desist from calling them terrorists. France is the country from where the first Crusader armies had started and it was at the forefront in the war against Islam [during the Crusades]. Its behavior still continues today.

"Newspaper The Guardian, which is published in Britain, was the first to launch propaganda against Qatar. Noted television anchorperson Piers Morgan had said in a tweet, 'The BBC not telecasting the soccer world cup's inaugural ceremony is nothing more than enmity. If they are so much hopeless, they should recall the army of their employees [from Qatar].

Indian fugitive preacher Zakir Naik arrives at FIFA World Cup.

"At his first press conference in Qatar, the FIFA president almost exploded [talking about] the European critics, and he busted the European world's façade of a human rights campaign. And lashing hard at the misplaced criticism regarding [Qatar's violation of] workers' rights, he said that the Western companies that earn billions of dollars from Qatar or other countries in the region never raise the matter of immigrant workers with the officials [of Qatar].

"During recent decades, the prosperity emerging in Qatar due to natural gas has increased the opportunities for employment. Even the London-based human rights group Equidem has admitted the appropriate arrangement is there for members [means, foreign workers]. The emir of Qatar thinks that after Qatar was awarded the hosting of the World Cup not only is it being targeted by extreme criticism, but a fake campaign was also launched against it."

"Europe And America Have Dominance Over The Sport Of Soccer – Now, The Hosting Of This Sports' International Event In Asia, Especially In The Muslim Nation Of The Middle East, Is Beyond The Tolerance Of International [Sports] Imperialism"

"Actually, Europe and America have dominance over the sport of soccer. Now, the hosting of this sports' international event in Asia, especially in the Muslim nation of the Middle East, is beyond the tolerance of international [sports] imperialism. This is the reason obstacles were raised during organizing of this international competition in an Arabic Islamic country and difficulties were erected for the government of Qatar...

"The final [game] of this tournament will be played on December 18 and the winning team will be awarded 82 million dollars, or nine billion rupees. The way the rulers of Qatar have made their identity as an Islamic country accepted and the way a ban was imposed on wine during this international tournament, has had no equal in the Islamic world.

"Around the world, a campaign is being run in favor of the rights of LGTB [sic]. During this time, the Qatari rulers have disallowed even reserved areas for gays in stadiums. There are extreme bans on the sale of liquor in Qatar. Budweiser [the beer brand] is among the big sponsors of this tournament. It is said about this company that it gives 75 million dollars to FIFA for every World Cup. The Budweiser brand belongs to the U.S., which is among the three host countries of the 2026 World Cup.

"There is a provision for fines or prison time for wearing a short dress or drinking wine during the World Cup tournament [in Qatar]. Fans, to support their teams, adopt different dresses; some individuals come to watch matches wearing short dresses. The Qatar officials' positive step has made the West aware that they do not have this permission to thrust their dirty culture to make fun of Islamic culture and civilization. Qatar's own soccer team... could not demonstrate good performance in the matches thus far, and even lost the second match after the inaugural clash. Nevertheless, Qatar has won!"


[1] Roznama Jasarat (Pakistan), November 24, 2022.

[2] Roznama Ummat (Pakistan), November 26, 2022.

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