The only people who will be able to drink in stadiums will be those in corporate hospitality.
Can you afford paying $3000? If so, then you are one of few who can enjoy high-end alcoholic drinks in Qatar. The conservative Muslim country that voluntarily decided to host the top global sport event the Football World Cup, has only remembered that alcohol is banned in Islam few hours before the start of the tournament, and has thus decided to ban beer from World Cup stadiums. Its decision, however, comes with a caveat: The rich and elite can enjoy alcohol in corporate hospitality lounges.
According to this Sky News report, at cost of $3000 (£2,522) per ticket, fans will be able to enjoy high-end alcoholic drinks and fine food in the luxurious hospitality lounges, suites, and restaurants at the eight stadiums built and renovated for football’s biggest event. And for £4,000, a mixologist and premium spirits are thrown in.
In Islam, alcohol is banned for everyone, rich and poor, corporates and non-corporates, elites and non-elites. But in Qatar, the ban is lifted, it seems, for those the Qatari leadership sees as useful to serve its agenda. And they are many of them, rushing on social media to defend Qatar and use excuses like “health and safety”, “hooliganism”, and “respect for the culture”. Those who dare to voice outrage are branded “white supremacists” and disrespectful to Islam.
Well, no one disrespect Islam more than those who think the Almighty will only punish the poor for daring to drink a cheap can of beer, but will forgive Muslims who allow the rich to enjoy drinking in their posh lounges.
Qatar’s beer ban perfectly sums up the fallacy of Islamism, where alcohol is a top sin, but bribes, exploitation of poor workers, and favouring the rich elites are conveniently ignored.
Up to 6,500 migrant workers have allegedly died in Qatar since the World Cup was awarded, and fans who have travelled to Qatar as part of a controversial paid-for supporters programme have been told by Qatari authorities that their cash has been cut, as the Guardian has revealed that a per diem payment for food and drink upon which some supporters were depending was cancelled just as fans were packing to travel to the Gulf, following the exposure of the scheme in the media and even reports of alleged bribery for Ecuadorian players. Where is Islam in all of this?
It is sad and infuriating to see pious Muslims rush to defend “sister” Qatar’s alcohol ban against the “evil” West while ignoring all the anti-Islamic policies adopted in Doha. This is testimony to how Islamism has managed to brainwash many Muslims to believe that alcohol will only be a treat in heaven, but not on earth and that the rich can enjoy life behind closed doors, but not the poor.
There are many things money can buy, but Islam is not one of them. Islam is about justice not privilege. Islam is about tolerance, not enforcement. Islam has never sanctioned dualism and corruption.
Defend Qatar as much as you like, but stop dragging Islam into this moral mess.