One of my colleagues asked me; No Western president attended the opening of the World Cup, on Sunday, November 20, 2022, in Qatar. Why?
This is expected, since officials, media professionals, and human rights activists have launched a Western media campaign against Qatar. All of those are calling for a boycott of the 2022 World Cup. They sometimes justify their position by the corruption cases in Qatar (of which Qatar was acquitted by the FIFA Ethics Committee), Qatar's Violation of human rights with regard to workers who participated in the construction of the infrastructure for the World Cup stadiums, and Qatar’s position from homosexuals and their slogans. The funny thing is that some of them justify their position by carbon emissions caused by the cooling system in the stadiums.
I know, perfectly well, that Qatar officially refuted these fabrications through statements by the concerned ministers and the official media. However, there are real reasons related to the roots of the Western and European perception of the Islamic world, its countries, and its people. Since the emergence of the conflict between the Islamic East and the European West, the smear campaigns have not stopped. The elite in the West still misleads the Western peoples and portrays the Arab and Islamic region and the peoples of this region as a group of primitive, ignorant, ill-mannered and backward in managing themselves and conducting their affairs.
The media's portrayal of Arabs in the cinema and television has settled as backward and closed barbarians. The only means of transportation for the Arabs, according to Western media, is still the "dumb camel", and he still lives in "black tents". The Arab Muslim was stereotyped as a "bomb box" or a "terrorist" and that the world would not be spared from the evils of his terrorism. With time and with global openness and because of the rejection of the peoples of the Arab region to the practices and slogans of homosexuality and sexual anarchy, the Western media has stereotyped the peoples of the region as arrogant peoples because of their wealth resulting from oil production, violating human rights, and spoiling the world's environment.
Yet, Qatar's hosting of the World Cup upended all fake mental images that were drawn over decades.
Qatar has demonstrated superior ability through its innovative plan to create an amazing infrastructure and planning program, and in constructing the most powerful stadiums for the World Cup. Western people (including the participating fans) and the Western media have been fascinated by super-civilization with clean energy, smart cities and urban progress. No one saw those scattered tents, the galloping camels, nor the alleged closure. However, they saw Qatar in the World Cup version, a civilized, bright, advanced country within the prosperous Gulf cities. The worst thing for these malicious people is that the people of Qatar and the Gulf peoples are conscious and civilized peoples who understand the languages of the West and the East, and contribute effectively to the success of a global event at an advanced civil level.
Qatar has exerted practical efforts to present and show Islam through openness and global dialogue with the participation of institutions and symbols that deal with generosity, chivalry, hospitality and high values with the participating guests. Thus, these images erased all the fake mental images that the West drew about Arabs and Gulf people (such as the image of terrorism, violence and backwardness...).
Therefore, the West, the hateful and envious institutions, are afraid that Western peoples and the peoples of the world in general may be affected. They may affected by the valuable influences of Islam, the Arab generosity, and the advanced horizon of the people of Qatar and the peoples of the Gulf region, and that could corrupt and erase the fake mental image of (backwardness, terrorism, etc.)
A month of football activity with a call to Islam and values can provide a new mental picture of one of today's Muslim cities.
Qatar, with its abilities, has given Muslims an opportunity that can be used to correct the mental image of Muslims.
We thank Qatar and its leaders for seizing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and for managing this world event intelligently and wisely.
Here's the answer to that important question: Why didn't Western leaders attend the opening of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?
Because Western leaders fear that, their participation in the opening of the World Cup will give media legitimacy and realism to the measures taken by Qatar in allowing the world to understand the people of the region as they really are. And that everything that Westerners drew over the past decades of images may be erased or a large part of it may be erased within one month during this global football event.
(*) Head of the OFOK Center for Consultancy - Kuwait.