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Barça, sponsored by a proislamist foundation


FC Barcelona, aiding jihadism since 2011.

On 12/10/2010, the director’s board of FC Barcelona proudly announced a new sponsoring deal: Starting on the 2011/2012 season, the team will be sponsored by the Qatar Foundation, a «non-profit organization» based on that asiatic country. Many cule fans have expressed their dislike of the deal, claiming that it goes «against the club’s philosophy and the values represented by the current sponsor, Unicef». I can’t help but to be amazed at their ingenuity, since anyone who’s followed Barcelona’s history in the last years knows that the choice of Unicef as sponsor had the goal of accustoming Barça’s followers to have an advertiser, so the board could later choose a «real» sponsor. This plan was featured several times in the press of the time, and anyone who gets surprised at this is either disinformed or unwilling to see things as they are. Now, any football club has the right to make a profit of their shirt putting advertisements on it, but the one chosen by Barcelona is really shocking, specially taking into account the values with which the club has stubbornly tried to associate itself  for the last years: solidarity, humilty, democracy, representation of the ‘catalan people’, antifranquism, etc. Is Qatar Foundation compatible with all this? We’ll see it on the following lines.

Before speaking of the foundation itself, it’s necessary to make clear that it’s directly linked to the qatari government, and is in fact chaired by Mozah bint Nasser, second wife of the qatari emir, Hamad ben Khalifa (out of the three he’s got). And what do we know about this emirate? Well, to begin with, we must say this peninsular country is an absolute monarchy, ruled by the same family since the 19th century, and of course elections are never held, so the qatari citizens lack the freedom of choosing their representatives. Funny how a club like Barcelona, which declares itself furiously anti-franquist (retrospectively, of course – when Franco lived they awarded him medals) associates its image with that of an absolutely anti-democratic country. Franco was in power for 36 years – these people have ruled for more than 100! It’s a nation of an overwhelming islamic majority, and if admittedly their laws aren’t by far the most strict of the arab world, some of them are really restrictive – for instance, it’s totally forbidden to show alcohol or get drunk in public, and breaking this law is punished with such primitive penalties as whipping. It’s also forbidden to enter the country for working without the permit of an sponsor or kafeel, which can forbid the worker to leave the country fors as long as it wishes, and in case that he or she leaves can veto their re-entry in Qatar for several years. Even so, it can be said that the emirate is quite open to the West and makes interesting investments, as business centers, touristic installations and great sporting premises – in fact, they have recently been awarded the World Cup 2022 organization.

Thus, Qatar is a country of moderate islamism, though far from western standards. And what is the ideology and activity of Qatar Foundation? The media have briefly explained that «it is a non-profit organization dedicated to diverse education and research projects in the Middle East». Well, that’s not totally accurate – After visiting the Foundation webpage, we could more precisely define it as a small qatari education and science ministry.  It obviously counts with a humongous budget, totally provided by the emirate government, and has a real large number of branches, indeed carrying off educational and researching projects, wether at a local level or collaborating with western institutions. So they’re not lying, but it’s easy to be «non-profit» when you have at your disposal all the funds of a petro-nation. Let’s remember that the foundation is chaired by Mozah bint Nasser, second wife of the emir Ben Khalifa; a quite attractive woman, by the way, married to a very ugly man (regarding this, it’d be interesting to know what Barcelona thinks about poligamy. Are they in favor of a family model that allows a man to collect several women?).

Continuing our visit to the foundation’s web, we get ample detail about its activities – many of the educational institutions it sponsors look perfectly harmless, and seemingly are strictly dedicated to different types of academic formation. Others, nevertheless, are tad more unsettling, like the Qatar Leadership Academy, a pseudo-military boarding house whose study program covers four basic areas: «academic studies, leadership, islamic studies and sport». The graduates can go directly into the qatari armed forces. Sincerely, I don’t like a lot the idea of mixing militay formation with religious studies – it’s quite a sensitive association, specially considering this school accepts pupils since such a tender age as eleven. But it’s just as Pep says, they play for children – in the past for the Unicef ones, now for the Academy’s little soldiers.

Nevertheless, all the facts presented to this point, if questionable, are not specially reprehensible. It’s when exploring other areas of the foundation that we discover it has a really dark and dangerous side. I’m referring specifically to the «Al-Qaradawi Centre for islamic moderation and renewal», also created and financed by the Qatar Foundation, but carefully left out of its webpage. We’ve got to look for other sources to get information about it. The person that gives name to the centre is non other than Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a prominent radical islamist scholar born in Egypt. At least, he would be be considered radical by any western standard, although there are those who consider him a respectable intellectual and communicator. Nevertheless, some countries don’t consider him respectable at all, to the point that he’s been banned from entering the USA and the United Kingdom. Let’s go through some of the opinions of this «intellectual».

-He condemns violence on civilians except if they live in Israel, approving of suicidal attacks against all citizens of this country. This includes children and women, even if they’re pregnant, since «they could later become soldiers of the israeli army». Regarding this, he declared on BBC’s Newsnight: «Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do».

-Reaffirming his simpathy for the jews, he made the following statements broadcasted by Al-Jazeera (video here): «Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.»

– Of course, America is a direct ally of the evil zionists, and he demands all good muslims to boycott all american and israeli products. «Our duty is to make them as weak as we can», he claims.

– On female circumcision: «Although it’s not demanded, whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world.»

– Europe and Islam (video here): «So Constantinople has been conquered and now the second part of the prophecy remains, which is the conquest of Rome. There’r no need for conquest to be with the sword. We want armies of preachers and teachers.

– Asked about the penalty for people who practise liwaat (sodomy) or sihaaq (lesbianism)», he replied: «The same punishment as any sexual pervert – the same as the fornicator.»

«Fwarsa, Fwarsa, Fwaaaaarsa!!»

A real admirable man, huh? Al-Qaradawi is strongly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, an influential organization whose main objective is that all aspects of life in islamic countries become ruled by choranic standards. This organization is forbidden in Egypt for alleged terrorist links. Getting back to the «Al-Qaradawi Center for islamic moderation and renewal» (I repeat, funded by the Qatar foundation), one of its first projects was to create a library compiling all the works of such a venerable thinker, so that all qatari citizens have easy access to them. Giving another look to the Foundation web, we see that other of its branches is the Qatar Faculty of islamic studies, officially «an international center for Islamic thinking and dialogue, committed to enhancing research into Islamic culture.» A commendable goal, immediately marred when we discover that the commitee charged with creating the Faculty was chaired by our friend Al-Qaradawi, and that said committee was personally designated by the president of the foundation herself, Mozah bit Nasser. Not only that: the foundation has instituted the «Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi Scholarships», awarded every year to five students for post-graduate studies. On this light, it can’t be possibly denied that the Qatar Foundation, and by extension the emirate, has in great esteem this social and religious leader, to the point of sponsoring him in several ways and extending his ideas as much as they can.
Thus, making a summary, we can say that:

– FC Barcelona has signed a sponsoring deal with a Foundation under the authority of the Emirate of Qatar, absolute monarchy where democracy is non-existent.

– Said foundation is chaired by the second wife of the qatari emir (out of the three he’s got), and has an enormous budget, probably provided entirely by the state.

– Qatar Foundation funds the «Al-Qaradawi Center for islamic moderation and renewal». The inspirator of this center, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, explicitly supports the killong of israeli civilians, including women and children, and simpathyzes with the figure of Adolf Hitler, who in his opinion punished the jews in the sake of Allah. This choranic scholar also supports female circumcision, severe punishments for homosexuals and the spread of Islam throughout all Europe.

– Another project funded by the Qatar Foundation is a library that compiles all the works of this radical thinker. It has also created an annual scholarship with his name, granted by its Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Barcelona has repeatedly claim that they assume the values embodied by their current sponsor, Unicef. I’d ardently wish to know if that’s the case also with Qatar Foundation, or if with these they prefer to ignore the values and simply take the money – it would certainly make for a funny double standard. One thing is clear – with Barca’s enormous international projection, many students can be attracted by the programs of Qatar Foundation, through which they could get exposed to harmful ideas as the ones explained above. But maybe all of this is secondary to Barcelona, since after all they’ll be getting more money than Real Madrid!