A cartoon by a French newspaper depicted Qatari footballers as terrorists and it has sparked outrage on social media, with users calling out its “blatant Islamophobia” and “racism.”
The cartoon was published by Le Canard enchainé in its October issue. The edition focuses on Qatar and its role as the FIFA World Cup 2022 host.
Al Jazeera, Qatari media describes about the cartoon: “The image depicts seven bearded men with “Qatar” written across their chests above big numbers. They appear to be chasing a football in the sand while carrying machetes, guns and rocket launchers. One wears a belt laden with explosives. Five are wearing blue robes and two are wearing black shirts and pants with balaclavas covering their faces. Five men in white robes are drawn on the sidelines, looking on.”
Hamad Al-Kawari, a minister of state called on France to show a “little sportsmanship”.
“Even caustic satire is welcome!!!” he tweeted in French. “But the Canard Enchaîné decided to resort to lies, hatred and grudges to attack Qatar and denigrate it.”
“Clear examples of the racist, xenophobic, and hate filled European cartoons both in 1940 and 2022. Haven’t they learned from their long, grim, ultra-nationalist and colonialist history anything?,” read a tweet by author Nawaf M Al-Thani.
“Le Canard Enchaîné published a despicable cartoon showing its blatant racism and hatred of Islam,” a user wrote in Arabic on Twitter. “They describe Qatar as an authoritarian emirate and its national team as terrorists.”