Taha A. Lemkhir
Taha A. Lemkhir
A voice from Morocco

Triumph of the Wealth

Enjoying the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is like enjoying pasta with blood.

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When international news agencies, top Western newspapers, some with traditions dating back to the 19th century transform themselves pathetically into battlefields where archrival Sheikhs and emirs hiring outstanding journalists and writers across the left-right spectrum to wage wars of reputations and image-making on their behalf, in exchange for wads of greenbacks (touch wood)—one is compiled to ask about the state of journalism in Western democracies which became somewhat organically connected with the corrupted theocracies of the Middle East, but which is, at the same time, decent and professional journalism. One can easily classify colored papers which are systematically in the fold of Qatar and others that vehemently support Saudis and Emiratis and a third category of papers which sell column inches to both sides.

When White House veterans, former intelligence operatives, “Washington Belt” insiders, turn themselves into mercenaries at the disposition of their Arabian patrons whims; when revered Western universities and colleges, think tanks and influential members of the Western intelligentsia (poputchiks on the ideological path of the very enemies of modern civilization and its values) began developing a curious collective blind spot; a capability in pretending not to see the elephant in the room, to refuse to question what cause are they really serving and what values and principles are they betraying and sledgehammering—one could only assimilate their activism to the Riefenstahls of 1930s.

Could Mr. Antonio Guterres be trusted in his effort to promote freedom and democracy in the Middle East? I very much doubt it, as anyone who set foot in the tribalistic Gulf state of Qatar—known widely for its unbridled support for extremism and fomenting fundamentalism— and accepts openly its suspicious donations to support human rights causes should lose promptly his credibility. The UN cannot not be held captive to authoritarian states’ munificence.

Oil windfalls have infiltrated gravely the world system and poisoned its internal organs, spoiled its individual units, cultivated appointees with instrumental roles, and bought influence at every possible level. Today there are many loopholes through which one could effectively funnel their bias and political extremism, scheme about and skip freely from side to side. Unlike the postwar era where boundaries were clearly defined, and the foes were unambiguously identified and confronted with unison and resolution.

However, sometimes Islamism gets entangled in on that age-old hostile climate between the left and the right and thus it becomes difficult to convince the one who ideologically dismisses the danger of Islamism as trivial factor among greater ones in the struggle between classes—seen from above it’s the tool of the Arab bourgeoisie in the Middle East, perceived from down it’s the horn of the wretched and less fortunate among the Muslim diaspora in the West.

There is no sign for the foolishness and absurdity of this system—full of people who pretend to serve ends they do not intend to meet, and appear to be the angels when they’re the demons—as disturbing and disgusting as choosing Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup. Beyond what has been revealed on how that bind was won, it is barely believable that a joyful celebration of the kind on such a worldly scale will be held in an area where the most cruel crimes and genocides of the century were only recently committed and of which Qatar has been deeply involved; it evokes memories of the 1936 Summer Olympics when Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain, on 26 April 1931. And, at any rate, the massacres are still haunting lives around the clock, and most certainly when the final match will be played and the golden Cup held high in Doha, simultaneously and just at near hand, beheaded trophies and dismembered limbs will also be held high as the FIFA golden skull.

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A stinking river of blood and sweat engulfing the state-of-the-art stadiums built upon piles of frail Asian corpses starved and worked to death and sent home in scarlet coffins decorated with ribbons to grieving mothers and posthumous children. And yet everybody must enjoy and get intoxicated with the wine of the FIFA Cup, and applaud obscenely at every scored goal like the cold-blooded Roman spectators across the colosseum used to break into cheerful roars as the brute beasts devoured the helpless human gladiator, except that the real gladiators who helped build Qatar colosseums to the joy of the spectators and the pride of the Sheikhs are buried under the green artificial turf.

How on God’s green earth would those leaders of the world intend to fight terrorism if they are sharing bread and butter with its unscrupulous patrons; Dubai, Doha, Riyadh, Kuwait, are cramming with retired US army top brass becoming after their honorable careers cronies and advisers to the brutal courts.

Little wonder terrorism is collectively fought and at once collectively generated as it has become a source of wealth and lucrative incomes. Only those innocent strollers on the bridges of London, streets of Brussels, orchards of Tel Aviv, markets of Mumbai and so forth who pay the heavy price of this gory enterprise. Islamism is not a mental illness, and not a matter of cultural relativism neither, namely: A totalitarian ideology that must be fought in its heartlands by the implementation of a program akin to the project of denazification of Germany, through a total revision of the culture, the press, the judiciary and politics under a direct supervision of the UN.

About the Author
Taha Lemkhir is a Moroccan writer and photographer. Degree in Arabic literature and Islamic studies. Critic of Islamism. languages: Arabic, English and Spanish. He Lived part of his life as an Islamist— until enlightenment flashed through his heart.
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