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Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador draws backlash after saying homosexuality is ‘damage in the mind’

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A Qatar FIFA World Cup ambassador has received online backlash after he referred to homosexuality as “damage in the mind.”

Khalid Salman was having an interview with German broadcaster ZDF on Tuesday, when the topic of homosexuality being illegal in Qatar was brought up.

“They have to accept our rules here. (Homosexuality) is haram. You know what haram means?” he said.

When the interviewer asked why it was considered haram (forbidden under Islamic law), Salman replied: “I am not a strict Muslim but why is it haram? Because it is damage in the mind.”

A media officer for the World Cup organizing committee promptly terminated the meeting after this answer.

LGBT rights activist Rasha Younes of Human Rights Watch condemned Salman’s comments, saying in a tweet: “Qatar World Cup ambassador’s suggestion that same-sex attraction is ‘damage in the mind’ is harmful and unacceptable.”

Younes added, “The Qatari government’s failure to counter this false information has a significant impact on the lives of Qatar’s LGBT residents.”

The Australian Socceroo’s recently released a video supporting the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and called for action to create a “lasting legacy in Qatar.”

“We stand with FIFPRO, the Building and Woodworkers International and the International Trade Union Confederation in seeking to embed reforms and establish a lasting legacy in Qatar,” they said.

“This must include establishing a migrant resource center, effective remedy for those who have been denied their rights and decriminalization of all same sex relationships.”

Qatar has strict laws when it comes to marriage. As the nation has a high Muslim population, it operates under Sharia law.

As BBC reported in 2021, Qatar is one of many nations where homosexuality is strictly outlawed.

Some restrictions bar marriages among those who do not share the Muslim faith. For instance, marriages between Muslim men and Christian women are not permitted in Qatar. Muslim women are also not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man.

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Donald R. Laster, Jr

He is correct. I do not support the Islam theocracy but the only species that homosexuality exists in is human. And look at what happens to children who are often abused and sodomized – they development homosexual attraction and want to have sodomy based relationships. People need to learn about Pavlov’s Dog and how indoctrination can effect people – especially children. And I suspect certain chemicals do damage to the brain as well which creates the abnormal attractions.

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