Qatar World Cup ambassador’s interview cut off after he says homosexuality is ‘damage in the mind’

A World Cup official in host country Qatar has drawn criticism after saying homosexuality is ‘a damage to the spirit’ and that gay visitors to his country must ‘accept’ the Muslim country’s rules .

“They have to accept our rules here,” Qatari World Cup ambassador Khalid Salman said in an interview with German broadcaster ZDF this week.

“(Homosexuality) is haram. Do you know what haram (forbidden) means?” Salman continued. When asked why it was haram, Salman replied, “I’m not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it hurts the mind.”

“During the World Cup, a lot of things will come here in the country. Let’s talk about gay people,” Salman added in the interview. “The most important thing is that everyone will agree to come here. But they will have to accept our rules.”

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The mark is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, where the FIFA World Cup draw will be held, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, March 31, 2022.

The mark is displayed near the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, where the FIFA World Cup draw will be held, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, March 31, 2022.
(AP Photo/Dark Bandic)

The interview was cut short by a media officer from the World Cup organizing committee after Salman aired his views on gay people, ZDF reported.

Germany’s interior minister condemned Salman’s remarks.

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“Of course, such comments are terrible, and that’s why we are working to hopefully improve things in Qatar,” Nancy Faeser said on Tuesday.

Around 1.2 million international visitors are expected to travel to Qatar later this month for the World Cup tournament and critics have constantly worries about human rights abuses in the oil-rich nation, especially towards gays and lesbians.

Homosexuality has been criminalized by the country’s Islamist government, and Article 258 of Qatar’s legal code imposes a seven-year prison term for same-sex relations involving copulation. Individuals can be imprisoned for “inducing, inducing or seducing a man in any way to commit sodomy”.

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Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater, left, and Yasir Al Jamal, Managing Director of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, attend a press conference on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Doha , October 17, 2022.

Qatar 2022 CEO Nasser Al Khater, left, and Yasir Al Jamal, Managing Director of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, attend a press conference on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 in Doha , October 17, 2022.
(Nikku/Xinhua via Getty Images)

Faeser said the Prime Minister of Qatar assured him last week that fans have a “guarantee of safety”, regardless of “where they come from, who they love and what they believe in”.

Qatar has publicly pushed back against international criticism of its treatment of the human rights of gay men and migrant workers.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the country’s ruling emir, said last month that Qatar “has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has ever faced”.

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Al Janoub Stadium, one of eight venues that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Al Janoub Stadium, one of eight venues that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
(Sidhik Keerantakath/Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

“The campaign tends to continue and expand to include fabrications and double standards that were so fierce that it unfortunately left many questioning the real reasons and motives,” he said. he declares.

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) did not immediately respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment.

Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report

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