Boycotting a country is not something we should embark upon lightly, even though Arab nations have been known to boycott countries like Israel for many years. But in this instance, the reasons are clear and logical. The letter explains it in details.
I ask all of you to support this worthy cause by signing-on as a member on Facebook Cause and by distributing the link and this Blog to as many people as you know. It is important to send a clear message to the world that when countries like Qatar hosts the Genocidal president of Sudan AFTER the ICC issued its arrest warrant, that same country does not deserve to host the World Cup.
I want to thank personally all the members of the BQ2022 committee and all of our supporters.
July 16, 2010Honorable Joseph S. Blatter ”“ PresidentFÃ©dÃ©ration Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)FIFA-Strasse 20,
P.O. Box 8044Zurich, Switzerland
Dear Mr. Blatter,
First of all, on behalf of the “Committee to Boycott Qatar 2022” (CBQ), we would like to congratulate FIFA on its 106th Anniversary and a very successful FIFA World Cup 2010.
We are addressing you this letter, as concerned citizens and passionate Football fans, to make a reasonable case why Qatar does not deserve to be seriously considered as a candidate to host the coveted World Cup in 2022.
It pains us to write on this subject or to be involved in such an endeavor when we know that the sport of Football strives on communal harmony and borderless celebration of its worldwide acceptance and support.
But the case of Qatar is a special one that we hope we can bring to your attention in the spirit of that communal harmony and in support of a sport too important to be embellished by a record that is neither enviable nor harmonious.
While the international community strives to create a balance in its views of democracies and rulers, the actions of Qatar make their egregious behavior in regard to human rights too poisonous an issue not to cast a dark shadow on the sanctity of the World Cup should Qatar host the Event in 2022, or even be considered for such an event.
As an example, Qatar has, in March of 2009, rolled the red carpet to President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan some eight months after President Bashir was indicted, in July 2008, by the International Criminal Court for his Genocidal crimes in Darfur. If snubbing the ICC was Qatar”™s intentions, it certainly succeeded when it treated Bashir as a sitting president rather than the criminal the international community is seeking. How could Qatar play host to a criminal who is responsible for the deaths of over 300,000 of his own people and play host to the great sport of Football at the same time? In our book, this is unconscionable to say the least.
Further, Qatar has been supportive of rogue and terror States like Syria and Iran whose aims in the region makes peace a distant goal. Honoring Qatar by granting it the right to host the World Cup 2022 in Doha indirectly sends the wrong signal to all the nations whose peace aspirations are sincere and whose goals are adversely affected by “resistance”, martyrdom, and a Jihadist mentality irreparably damaging to Arab and Muslim youths and their future. Martyrdom and Football are oxymoronic because one dictates sacrifice through violence and the other promotes sacrifice for the greater good. Qatar”™s image is irreparably harmed by its own making and its own narrow politics.
If a Muslim country ought to host these games, it should be one that sets an example for Muslim youths and promotes human rights and peace in a fashion that helps the region lift itself from the darkness of watching, mostly on the Qatari al-Jazeera, extremists preach for the beheading of innocent people just because they adhere to a set of different beliefs, be it religious or political. Our world has paid too high a price in the past for not standing firm against those who preach violence and a singular system of values most often forced upon others through sheer terror.
Furthermore, the success of Qatar in building al-Jazeera has been achieved at the expense, again, of Muslim youths who view its extremist programs and react with anger and discrimination against the precious minorities of the Middle East, not to say of Middle East women whose views, rights, and lack of equality with their counterpart men leave many amongst us questioning the wisdom of empowering Arab rulers with such a great sporting event.
Qatar hosting 2022 is tantamount to legitimizing their disorderly house, built on the premise that women do not have a place in sports (Qatar does not support or encourage the formation of a professional women team). If Qatar, or any other Gulf country, can show off its professional women”™s team as it shows off its professional men”™s team, then we salute and encourage your decision all else being equal. Given Qatar”™s discriminatory practices, we believe Qatar should be judged on the merit of its glaring shortcomings. Like you, we believe in equality in sports, which should be the Litmus test by which candidate countries are judged to become host countries.
Before the World Cup in South Africa, it is believed that a terrorist was captured, few hundred miles from Qatar, on his way to the Games with a clear intention to inflict harm against the World Cup and its fan base or players. Such possible eventuality, as much as all civilized people, including many people from all walks of life, may find it abhorrent and betraying of the true spirit of the sport of Football, needs to be taken into consideration if Qatar is considered seriously to host the World Cup for 2022.
As all encompassing and all welcoming Football has come to represent in its message of hope and integration for all people, from all ages, and across so many countries, extremists will find solace and comfort in promoting their acts of violence in their own backyard rather than on a stage better equipped to handle matters of security and more representative of the spirit of true human rights in general than Qatar could ever represent. As much as we know that FIFA”™s Security Committee Members will tirelessly work to insure everyone”™s safety, it is hard to predict how an act of terror can be carried against players or their fans if the environment, existing today in Qatar, is predicated on supporting “resistance” and martyrdom as a tool in its arsenal with negative foreign policy implications for all concerned, including outside honorees like FIFA.
Mr. Blatter, there is no doubt that decisions related to landing the responsibility of hosting the World Cup are considered meticulously and with a broad and open mind. We respectfully ask you to contemplate the above issues when debating Qatar”™s candidacy, which may on the fringe look irrelevant but in reality are consistent with the remarkable history of FIFA and that of the venerable World Cup. How a host country behaves, locally and regionally, reflects, whether we like it or not, on FIFA”™s international image in general when and if that country chooses a path denying universal human rights, women”™s rights to compete equally in sports, and plays host to international criminals and countries known for terrorizing their neighbors in a region that is dictating a tempo of arrogance, extremism, and a behavior unbecoming of the World Cup.
The nagging lack of support for human rights, women”™s rights, and the consistent support for criminals and rogue states by Qatar renders your decision and that of the Executive Board, as well as the decision delivered by the Organizing Committee, we hope, rather easy.
In brief, we respectfully ask you to deny Qatar the privilege of hosting the World Cup in 2022 because Qatar has embarked on a policy of snubbing the international community by supporting criminals and violent countries when it could have very well taken a neutral and peaceful position more representatives of FIFA and its reputation as a globally respected organization.
On behalf of the Committee Members and all the Football fans around the globe, we thank FIFA, its Executive Board, and it”™s Organizing Committee for a very successful and safe World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
Executive Members of the “Committee to Boycott Qatar 2022”Yolla Ahmad, SyriaMohamad Eljahmi, LibyaFarid Ghadry, SyriaHussein Samier, FranceStuart Weinblatt, USA
CC:Â Â FIFA Executive Committee MembersOrganizing Committee for the FIFA Club World Cup MembersCommittee for Women’s Football and the FIFA Women’s World Cup MembersLegal Committee MembersFootball Committee MembersStadium and Security Committee MembersMajor League Soccer Executives (USA)