Qataris bristle at criticism
Islam News – In the prelude to the World Cup, Qatar has faced an increasing barrage of criticism over its human rights record, including the authoritarian monarchy’s criminalization of homosexuality and the well-documented abuse of migrant workers.
But some Qataris see hypocrisy, prejudice and Orientalism in the condemnation, and in some international media coverage, even if they acknowledge human rights violations.
Asked by a television presenter about his impressions of the country, a French reporter replied, “There are a lot of mosques.” In a photo caption, The Times of London wrote, “The Qataris are unaccustomed to seeing women in Western dress in their country,” a sentence that was later amended.
“A lot of reporters lump in all Arab countries together,” said Justin Martin, an associate professor of journalism who has spent 10 years in Qatar. “It’s a combination of just abject ignorance and Orientalist tropes.”
Context: The torrent of reporting has been overwhelming for a country that rarely makes global news. Grabbing the world’s attention is partly why Qatari officials wanted to host the tournament. But instead of challenging stereotypes, the coverage sometimes seems to have done the opposite.
Source: The New York Times