American reporter goes viral after being asked to remove his rainbow shirt in Qatar

(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune via AP File)

I have one question for the reporter – What did he think was going to happen? The FIFA World Cup is being held in Qatar, a Muslim country. I’m sorry to break it to the American reporter but Muslim countries do not abide gay rights. It is well-known that the Religion of Peace is not at all tolerant of the LGBTQ agenda.

If people around the world are going to support FIFA’s decision to hold world championships in Muslim countries, then reporters and other visitors are expected to follow local laws. The same goes for the athletes. Qatar follows Islamic law. Qatar officials don’t care about your rainbows or expressions of support for gay people. It’s not allowed in their country. The way to stop this conflict with basic human rights accepted in Western countries is to hold international competitions in Western countries, not Muslim countries. See how easy that is?

This guy went to Qatar and was told to remove his t-shirt with a soccer ball encircled with rainbow colors design.

As far as I can see from the photo, there is no text on the design. No message.

In Western countries, no one would look twice at the shirt. In a Muslim country, the message is clear and it is an unwanted one. This is not some new thing – it has always been so. Gay people are killed in Muslim countries. The reporter had to have known what he was doing and the question is, why? One commenter replies in a logical way.

The reporter is not a hero. He won’t change a thing. He went viral on social media but Twitter isn’t real life. There are still gay people in prisons in Muslim countries, as well as in Qatar, I’m assuming, and some will die for their personal behavior. This is reality. If Americans can’t obey the laws of other countries, then they should stay home. The reporter is lucky the FIFA World Cup is going on and local law enforcement is aware of the bad publicity the country will get from such exchanges with foreign visitors. He could have landed in jail. “Go gays”? Really? He’s acting like it’s the 1960s in Birmingham, Alabama. Muslim countries are not interested in human rights as Westerners see them.

According to Grant, he was told by security that if he took the shirt off, he could enter the stadium, but he vehemently refused to comply and decided to take the matter to Twitter instead. While his tweet generated 150k likes in a matter of hours, there were countless responses from people who felt the reporter should have respected the country’s law and practice.

“When your country is hosting the ‘World Cup’ it means you have to respect the values and beliefs of all visitors to the games you are hosting,” one person wrote in the comment section of the thread.

Another echoed similar words, writing, “You have already made rainbow colors as the sign of LGBTQ sign which violates our beliefs as Muslims so, any rainbow color we see is a sign/mark promoting your agenda which we won’t accept that in our society. I don’t know why u guys find it difficult to comprehend that!”

A third person continued, “You knew exactly what you were doing, and you’re glad you were refused entry just so you could take this little picture of yours.”

No one even asked that he respect local law, just obey it. Otherwise, there are consequences. He chose to keep the shirt on and not do his job. This pretty much verifies that this was meant as a stunt to get attention. He chose to post on Twitter instead of wearing an acceptable shirt and covering the soccer match. Maybe he was just going as a spectator, not a reporter. That part isn’t clear.

He isn’t the hero he thought he was, though, according to some of the replies.

Other reporters have had difficulties in Qatar as they cover the FIFA World Cup. A female reporter alleges she was robbed while reporting live on-air. She works for an Argentine TV station. She claims she was robbed while interviewing soccer fans, the thief having gotten away with her credit cards, money, and documents taken out of her handbag. The interesting part of the story isn’t the presence of pickpockets but the response by police. They asked her what kind of punishment the thief should receive.

Stunned Dominique said: “They told me, ‘What do you want justice to do about this?

“‘We will find the wallet… We have cameras everywhere, high-tech cameras and we will find the thief with face detection technology.

“‘What do you want justice system to do to them when they are found?’

“‘Do you want us to sentence him to five years in prison, to be deported?’

“He asked me to make the decision.

“I told them I just want my wallet back, I won’t be making the decision for the justice system.”

FIFA has threatened soccer players sporting rainbow armbands with yellow cards. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke out about that.

Speaking alongside his Qatari counterpart at a news conference, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was “always concerning … when we see any restrictions on freedom of expression.”

“It’s especially so when the expression is for diversity and for inclusion,” Blinken said at Doha’s Diplomatic Club. “And in my judgment, at least no one on a football pitch should be forced to choose between supporting these values and playing for their team.”

Just hours before the first players with the armbands in support of the “One Love” campaign were to take the field on Monday, soccer’s governing body warned they would immediately be shown yellow cards — two of which lead to a player’s expulsion from that game and also the next.

No player wore the “One Love” armbands Monday though seven European teams had said they planned to wear them ahead of the tournament.

FIFA offered an alternative armband for those players wanting to make a statement. “No Discrimination” armbands were offered as a compromise. Blinken may have been openly critical of Qatar over what amounts to a religion-based decision on LGBTQ rights but he was much less critical over other human rights.

While openly critical of FIFA, Blinken struck a more measured tone with Qatar. This energy-rich Mideast nation has been criticized ahead of the tournament over its treatment of migrant laborers and criminalizing gay and lesbian sex.

“We know that without workers, including many migrant workers, this World Cup simply would not have been possible,” Blinken said. “Qatar has made meaningful strides in recent years to its labor laws to expand worker rights.”

However, he made a point to add: “Real work remains on these issues, and the United States will continue to work with Qatar on strengthening labor rights and human rights more broadly long after the World Cup is over.”

Blinken spoke alongside Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, at the news conference. Asked by a Qatar-based journalist about the “media attacks” on his country, Sheikh Mohammed dismissed them.

As for the reforms the state of Qatar, I think there were some quarters who did not take this into consideration and relied on preconceived notions,” he said. “Of course we cannot change the opinion of those who just want to attack us or distort our image.”

There are 8,000 American troops stationed at Al-Udeid Air Base. The base played a key role in Joe Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Aghanistan and the evacuation of Afghan civilians.

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