Qatar Prohibits Jewish Customs at FIFA World Cup

From the latest “water is wet” news reports, it seems to be that the administration of Qatar isn't very enthusiastic about Jewish guests visiting the country when it hosts the inaugural FIFA World Cup soccer event. Many Jewish organizations claim that although they have received assurances from officials that they will be able to cook kosher food for Jewish supporters at the World Cup, they have not been permitted to cook kosher food at any time. The only food vendors that can prepare are cold bagels, as per sources. Qatar is also believed to have prohibited any Jewish prayers.

The following article is from The Jerusalem Post:

“Sources from Jewish organizations have told The Jerusalem Post that Qatar did not honor a previous promise to allow Jewish prayer services to be held in Doha during the tournament and claimed that it wasn't able to guarantee the kind of event and later banned it completely.”

“We were promised to be allowed to create prayer spaces in order for religious Jews who came to see the games to have a place of worship,” a representative from the Jewish group said. “We were recently told that they banned places of worship for Jews because they cannot secure them.”

The Jerusalem Post also says that a section of American Jews were planning to attend the event, but then canceled their plans because they were concerned about the supply of food they could eat.

“There is no kosher food, there are no Shabbat meals and no public prayer services,” an insider said. He also said that the Qataris stated that “they would separate religion from sports, so how come the great Qatar doesn't know how to secure Jewish worshipers?”

It is said that the FIFA World Cup is one of the most sought-after sporting events around the globe and many nations are notoriously involved in all sorts of backroom deals, bribery, and even begging to host. Qatar is plagued with human rights violations. It was not easy for them to be selected to host the event in the first place.

Maybe FIFA has its own issues with anti-semitism among its members. Maybe Qatar could have sweetened their deal enough to convince FIFA officials to be more tolerant in the face of discrimination. There's no indication that it's one or the other, or even a mix of both. Whatever the situation, it's no secret that anti-Semitism is a major issue throughout Islamic nations. FIFA was well aware of what the implications for Jewish players and fans could be when they granted Qatar the opportunity. They decided to go ahead anyway.The Jerusalem Post reached out to World Cup organizers to confirm that Jewish prayer services are outlawed, but did not receive a response.

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