Western media outlets have received a barrage of criticism in recent weeks for their racist depiction of the World Cup in Qatar, targeting the Moroccan team in particular.
A Danish channel has come under heavy fire after the host compared Moroccan players and their mothers with monkeys on live television.
TV 2 News showed a segment in which the anchor Soren Lippert held up an image of monkeys embracing while talking about Morocco’s national team players hugging their mothers.
Touching scenes of the national team celebrating their historic victories at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar have gone viral across the world, with many describing it as a rare positive reflection of Arab culture from the Western world.
“Absolute disgrace on #Den TV equating #MaR players hugging their mothers with monkeys. Same media that has been lecturing the Qataris for months about human rights,” political analyst Andreas Krieg said.
“European societies are deeply racist and have a huge problem acknowledging it. They call everything “humour” but truth is that they turnt themselves into a disgusting joke and the rest of the world makes fun of them,” Austro-Afghan journalist, Emran Feroz commented.
Another Twitter user said: “Western media is comparing Arabs to monkeys. So-called civilized world.”
“They aren’t even trying to water down the racism anymore it’s like yeah y’all Moroccans are monkeys?????” one Twitter said.
“What a way to announce to the world that you’re not only vile racists, but also hate your mothers,” another joked.
“This World Cup was a great opportunity for the Europeans to show what inside them without acting or pretending,” another added.
The incident is just the latest in a string of racism targeting Qatar 2022, the first World Cup being hosted in the Arab and Muslim world. While the Moroccan team has made history at the tournament by becoming the first African and Arab nation to reach the semi-finals, it has faced a barrage of racist and Islamophobic attacks from Western media.
Just days earlier, another Western outlet published a caricature showing Moroccans in tracksuits on a motorbike ‘stealing’ the World Cup trophy from Gianni Infantino, in what many described as a racist European stereotype of North Africans being ‘thugs’ and ‘criminals’.
A German television anchor also sparked outrage online after comparing the Moroccan national team with the Islamic State militant group (ISIS).
The Welt anchor showed an image of three national team players after a successful World Cup game, in which they raised their index fingers.
This is a common gesture for billions of Muslims around the world who praise God by professing the concept of Tawhid, or ‘Oneness’.
However, the anchor likened the players to ISIS, claiming the gesture caused “irritation”.
“This is a greeting that the so-called Islamic State has adopted,” he claimed.
“The fighters often pose with the gesture after conquests. It’s unclear whether the World Cup players from Morocco were aware of the significance of the gesture,” he alleged.
The segment, broadcast to millions, was widely shared online, however social media users were quick to call out the brazen racism targeting the Moroccans.
The outrageous claims were made just days after Die Tageszeitung also criticised the Moroccans for their support of Palestine, calling the raising of the flag at the World Cup as “orchestrated hostility towards Israel”.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is the first such time the tournament is being held in a Muslim and Arab nation, with thousands of fans using the opportunity to showcase their support of Palestine. Flags have been raised across fan zones as well as stadiums throughout the tournament.
Arab teams involved in the tournament, especially Morocco, have been bold with their solidarity, celebrating their wins by waving the flag on the pitch.
Fans attending matches told Doha News the historic hosting of the tournament in a Muslim and Arab country for the first time has provided a platform for real solidarity to be shown on a global level.