THIS refers to the editorial ‘Unsporting behaviour’ (Nov 12), which made the right call. It must be added that while criticising Qatar for its supposed human rights violations, the European states and publications tend to forget that the way they are protesting, especially by publishing cartoons portraying Qatari footballers as terrorists, is itself a human rights violation.
They do not have any right to portray any sportsperson as terrorist. Sports-persons globally are ambassadors of peace, have nothing to do with international politics, and all of them must be treated accordingly.
Though we must speak for global human rights at every platform, derogatory and disparaging remarks or editorial cartoons against a particular nation are uncalled for and smacks of racism, too, apart from being a clear case of hate speech.
If the European states have serious concerns with Qatar regarding human rights violations, they have other ways of showing their concerns. They have diplomatic channels, for instance, which represent the most apt option. They should not resort to such intolerance in sporting events and should refrain from making sports murky with geopolitics.
Such intolerance is not expected of any nation, especially from the Western countries which never tire of reminding everyone that they represent the so-called developed world.
The West has remained a model for many to follow for renaissance and enlightenment.
However, the recent events, especially the publication of blasphemous caricatures in a French publication in the name of freedom of expression, have shown that Europe is fast losing its identity and norms, and intolerance and religious biases are getting stronger by the day.
If this trend continues, the Europeans are bound to plunge into the dark age again.
Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2022