Qatar speaks out about OneLove armband at the World Cup “divisive and destructive act”

The leader of the Qatar World Cup organizers said he considers the rainbow armband (OneLove armband) as a protest against Islamic values.

OneLove armband
The OneLove armband caused controversy at the Qatar World Cup. This is a symbol of support for same-sex marriage – something that Islam forbids.

The head of the Qatar World Cup organizing committee, Hassan al-Thawadi, accused the teams of wearing the OneLove armband as captain at the World Cup as a “divisive and destructive act” to the Muslim and Arab worlds, according to the Guardian.

Thawadi, who is also Secretary General of the Supreme Committee on Distribution and Heritage of the World Cup, said he had “a problem” with the armband because he saw it as an act of protest against Islamic values ​​and cultural identity of a Muslim country like Qatar.

“If teams decide to do it in every game, that’s a concern,” he said when asked if he’s worried about the armband. “If they use it to make a point, or a statement in Qatar, that’s what I find problematic.”

“I’m talking not only about Qatar, but the whole Arab world,” he said. “What you’re saying about OneLove armband is protesting an Islamic country.”

OneLove armband
The leader of the Qatar World Cup organizer said he considers the rainbow armband as an objection to Islamic values.

Thawadi also asked: “How will the story end? Does it mean that a Muslim country in the future won’t be able to host international events?”

“There are always different values ​​and different perspectives coexisting. So for me, if you come here to make a specific statement in Qatar, or more broadly in the Muslim world, that would be a divisive and destabilizing message,” he said. .

Thawadi also added that organizers in Qatar just want visitors to respect their culture and religion.

“These values ​​are historic,” he said. “It’s for the Muslim world, it’s for the Arab world, it’s for the Middle East. There are some things that we will disagree with. But let’s find a way to live together and move forward, in different ways. That’s where mutual respect is fundamental.”

Thawadi’s comments came shortly after the UK’s Minister for Sport, Tourism and Civil Society – Stuart Andrew said he would wear the OneLove armband during the match between England and Wales on November 29.

The member of the UK’s Conservative Party, who is gay, said it was “really unfair”, after FIFA threatened to punish seven European teams. Previously, these teams had planned to wear OneLove armbands – the anti-discrimination symbol in Qatar, forcing them to protest in other ways.

“I wanted to show my support and I was delighted to see the German minister wearing it at a recent match. I think it’s important that I do the same,” added Stuart Andrew.

OneLove armband
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wore OneLove armband while sitting right next to FIFA President Gianni Infantino, attending the match between Germany and Japan at the 2022 World Cup, Reuters reported.

Many fans attending the matches also brought rainbow items, including t-shirts and bucket hats, but were confiscated by stadium staff. FIFA then announced the items were allowed into the stadium.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Qatar, although organizers and FIFA have repeatedly repeated the message “everyone is welcome” during the World Cup.

Meanwhile, in Europe, violence broke out in many places. Hooligans burn cars after Belgium’s loss at the World Cup. Dozens of protesters set fire to a car and threw bricks at other cars on the streets of Brussels, following Belgium’s surprise defeat to Morocco on November 27.

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