Is this truly about human rights, or is it that Western pundits can’t stomach the idea that an Arab Middle East country is hosting the World Cup?

Hypocrisy and human rights
Qatar World Cup and Western double standards

Ayman Mohyeldin from MSNBC asks: Is this truly about human rights, or is it that Western pundits can’t stomach the idea that an Arab Middle East country is hosting the World Cup?

From the moment Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, there has been criticism surrounding its capacity and deservedness to hold the event. And rightfully so; any country that plans to welcome people from around the world for a globally important affair should be subject to intense scrutiny.

The many impassioned protestations about Qatar's hosting sweep a great deal under the rug.

But what has played out over the past several years, and intensified in the final few months before the World Cup’s Sunday premiere, reveals the depths of Western prejudice, performative moral outrage and, perhaps most significantly, gross double standards.

A barrage of negative and quite frankly racist commentary about the tiny Persian Gulf nation has included headlines suggesting that fans who were celebrating the buildup to the tournament were paid to appear, because they were South Asians. A French outlet published a cartoon depicting the Qatari national team as terrorists. The list goes on.

But is this debate truly about migrant workers’ rights and human rights, or is it that European countries and Western pundits, who view themselves as the traditional gatekeepers of global soccer, can’t stomach the idea that an Arab Middle Eastern country will host such a venerable event?

© MSNBC 2022

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