Remarks by a Qatar World Cup ambassador have been called “harmful and unacceptable” after he described homosexuality as “damage in the mind”.
Khalid Salman, a former Qatar international footballer, made the comments in an interview with the German broadcaster ZDF.
Asked about the fact that homosexuality is illegal in his country, Salman said: “They have to accept our rules here. [Homosexuality] is haram. You know what haram means?”
When asked why it was haram, or forbidden, Khalid Salman said: “I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind.”
Rasha Younes of the LGBT rights program at Human Rights Watch said: “Salman’s suggestion that same-sex attraction is ‘damage in the mind’ is harmful and unacceptable. The failure of the Qatari government to counter this false information has a significant impact on the lives of LGBT residents of Qatar, ranging from fuelling discrimination and violence against them to justifying subjecting them to state-sponsored conversion practices.”
Last week the president of Fifa, Gianni Infantino, insisted that “everyone is welcome [at the World Cup] regardless of origin, background, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality”, echoing comments made by the organisers in Qatar.
Glasp is a social web highlighter that people can highlight and organize quotes and thoughts from the web, and access other like-minded people’s learning.