As the de facto homo-hating Tories cement their ‘new’ regime firmly on the right, the Foreign Minister responsible for the safety of UK citizens abroad, James Cleverly, tells LGBTQI+ football fans planning to go to the World Cup fiasco in the Emirati statelet of Qatar to show “a little bit of flex and compromise”
He went on to add that “These are Muslim countries (sic), they have a very different cultural starting point for us. I think it’s important when you’re a visitor to a country that you respect the culture of your host nation.” One wonders what advice he would have found acceptable to give black citizens visiting apartheid South Africa.
This follows the arrest of redoubtable human rights and queer activist Peter Tatchell there for protesting outside the National Museum of Qatar with a placard bearing “Qatar arrests, jails & subjects LGBTs to ‘conversion’ #QatarAntiGay.”
LGBT organisations engaging with FIFA have said “progress has been slow” in ensuring the safety of LGBT fans – and that reassurances from Qatar – where the death penalty applies – had “not been adequate”.
Players wanting to protest the Islamic state’s ‘soccer washing’ of its appalling rights record (6,500 largely migrant workers died in this vanity project), are instructed by FIFA that players “..must not have any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images”.
The loyal opposition Labour Party takes the high ground of refusing attendance, while Labour in power in the form of Wale’s First Minister Mark Drakeford, will still attend to support his national team.
The collaboration of establishment elites left and right with international sporting institutions to promote their regional powerhouse over queer lives is a collusion in LGBTQI hate crimes that screams ‘Queer lives don’t matter’.
The indulgence in culture wars in the west is a luxury in a region which has a perverse history of devising ways of murdering sexual and gender identity minorities in the name of faith tradition: beheadings in Saudi; throwing off buildings under Islamic State; being crushed under bulldozed walls in Iran, stoning or just mob murder with impunity like the spate of killings by rectal filling with cement in Iraq.
Appeasing the West means resorting more to hanging, lashing and hard labour. Or, more modernly in Qatar now, a attested to by Tatchell, forced ‘conversion’
The UK’s ‘Queertar’ toleration becomes less hypocritical when one judges its own record and refusal to protect trans people at home from subjection to the brutal abuse of conversion.
Conversion Therapy neither converts nor is it therapeutic. It is both a misnomer and a red herring. Condemned by all professional bodies of medical and psychotherapeutic practice as dangerous and unethical, it is not supportive help in changing your mind.
It is directional reversing of where your instincts and insight are taking you. Conversion therapy is no more a therapy than the whip and the branding Iron are gentle reminders of where a slave lives!
Qatar will be a festival of the elites chumming it up on a mass grave of migrant workers, queers and dissidents. We can hardly be surprised that elite soccer has chosen not to boycott it.
We do however call foul, accusing those in power at home and abroad of the continuing abuse of our class and communities in all their forms.
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