Doha: As the Gulf nation gears ready to host the world championship in less than two weeks, a Qatar World Cup envoy told German television ZDF that homosexuality was “damage in the mind.”
Khalid Salman, a former Qatari International addressed the issue of homosexuality. Khalid Salman’s statement comes out at a time when people are calling out footballers and the footballing world for Qatar. The interview was screened in Doha and published later on Tuesday.
Khalid Salman argued that the people visiting the country for the Qatar World Cup should behave according to the country’s rules and culture. “They have to accept our rules here,” he said in the interview excerpt.
“Homosexuality is haram. You know what haram means?” Khalid adds in his interview. When asked why he thinks it is haram, he answered, “I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is a damage in the mind.” The accompanying official stopped the interview immediately in order to prevent more damage. Reuters has contacted FIFA and the organizing committee of the Qatar World Cup for a statement.
Homosexuality is considered a sin according to Islamic sharia laws. Religion considers it a violation of societal norms. The ILGA considers seven countries where homosexuality is a criminal offense. Although Qatar doesn’t belong to this list, they serve homosexuals with prison time or fines. The unscrupulous law has led multiple people to openly call out Qatar for the World Cup hosting.