It seems as though every day, criticism of Qatar, host nation of this month’s soccer World Cup, grows louder.
The small, energy-rich Gulf country — the first Middle Eastern nation to put on this particular sporting mega-event — has been condemned for its treatment of migrant workers, the LGBTQ community and women, as well as for suspicions around how it was awarded the international tournament in the first place.
But at the same time, another chorus has also been getting louder, too. Commentators from both inside and outside the Arabic-speaking world are asking why Qatar is being so harshly criticized, suggesting it has less to do with political issues and more to do with racism, Orientalism, even Islamophobia.
Protesting racism, European hypocrisy
“As Arabs, we think…