“But just what is ‘racist’ about bribery?,” asks Al Arabiya — or about investigating bribery? This bizarre response from Qatar to charges that it bought the right to host the 2022 World Cup shows the hollowness of the charges of “racism” and “Islamophobia” that are constantly leveled at counter-jihadists. Just as there is nothing racist or Islamophobic about investigating bribery, so also there is nothing racist or Islamophobic about opposing jihad terror.
“‘Racist Britain:’ Qatar in World Cup sympathy bid,” by Eman El-Shenawi, Al Arabiya, June 17, 2014 (thanks to Kirath):
Qatar, a state positioning itself as progressive and close to the West, which previously rejected co-hosting the World Cup with a Gulf neighbor, is now trying to drum up Arab and Muslim support by branding a recent Sunday Times report and wider British society as “racist.”
Using social media to build sympathy, many in the country are now bashing recent coverage by the British newspaper on Qatar’s alleged World Cup 2022 bribery scandal as having “racist” and “biased” overtones.
But just what is “racist” about bribery?
In an interview with Al Arabiya News on Tuesday, a spokesman for the newspaper rejected claims of racism in its investigation of “millions of documents ranging from emails to bank records.”
One tweet by a Qatari said “the 2022 World cup will be in Qatar God willing despite the British racist mouse.”
At the crux of The Sunday Times report were documents which allegedly bolstered claims that Qatar bought the 2022 World Cup with millions of dollars-worth of bribes — administered by disgraced FIFA vice-president Mohamed bin Hammam.
“The story was one about alleged corruption in a major international sporting body, not about a particular nation or race,” the spokesman said.
“We believe global events such as the World Cup should be properly scrutinized and the investigation by The Sunday Times involved the analysis of hundreds of millions of documents ranging from emails to bank records. This professional piece of journalism from an award-winning team is of significant public interest and we continue to stand by our report,” he added.
Still, this has not stopped Qatari media figures from pulling out the racism card, even urging fellow citizens to boycott the UK as a holiday destination this summer.
“There is a broad popular sense that a withdrawal of the right to host the World Cup would be seen as discriminatory, biased and even Islamophobic,” James Dorsey, a columnist and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, told Al Arabiya News.
Earlier this week, Ilham Badr, a Qatari media figure, urged fellow citizens on Twitter to not visit the UK and to look for “other beautiful cities that are not racist and whose governments are not defaming our country,” according to Qatari daily The Peninsula.
Jabir al-Merri, another Qatari media figure, said on Twitter: “Racism against the Arabs has surfaced after one of the Arab countries proved that it is capable to host the World Cup.”
But years of Britain welcoming heavy Qatari influence in its property and investment markets suggest it may be contradiction to suggest the Sunday Times coverage was driven by anti-Qatar sentiment.
Famous British assets including Harrods, the Shard – Europe’s tallest building, – swathes of the Canary Wharf financial district, Olympic Village buildings, No. 1 Hyde Park – the world’s most expensive block of flats – are all Qatari-owned.
Also, a sovereign wealth fund with tens of billions of pounds in assets and a global reach, the Qatar Investment Authority, has already invested billions in Britain, while Qatari LNG accounted for high percentages of Britain’s liquefied natural gas imports in recent years….