Qatar bans English World Cup fans for dressing as Crusaders, deem outfits ‘offensive to Muslims’

English soccer fans who dressed up as St. George for the World Cup match in Qatar were banned from attending the game between Iran and England on Monday because the host country finds the “Crusader” look offensive to Muslims.

(Video Credit: The Telegraph)

One fan who was there for the match told a reporter for The Telegraph that the men in crusader gear should learn how to “read a room” before offending a host country during the World Cup.

The two men dressed as knights went viral on social media when they attempted to get past security before the match. They were wearing chainmail and helmets bearing St. George’s Cross. The ardent fans were also carrying novelty swords.

They were videoed singing God Save the King and storming up the stairs on public transport and wound up being unceremoniously taken away by four officers before the match began, according to the Daily Mail.

Another incident occurred where three Lions fans were evidently banned from the match against the USA Thursday night for wearing similar outfits.

It is a tradition for some England supporters to wear St. George’s garb at World Cup games. He is the patron saint of the country. This time, it got them in trouble because of perceived religious offenses viewed in a historical context.

FIFA said in a statement, “Crusader costumes in the Arab context can be offensive against Muslims. That is why anti-discrimination colleagues asked fans to wear things inside out or change dress.”

The Crusades took place between 1095 and 1291, with Muslims claiming it was an invasion and Christians seeing it as a war to stop the incursion by Muslims who were busy conquering nations. Islam reportedly believes that once they conquer a nation, that land is theirs permanently. Christians were fighting to take back holy sites that had fallen under Islamic control. Their armies fought to seize Jerusalem along with the surrounding area from Islamic rule during that time period.

England won its match 6 to 2, beating Iran on Monday. One of the crusaders who got banned spoke with TalkTV after the game.

The unnamed fan stated, “The problem is in places like Qatar, the fans are the essence of the game. We are what makes the game. It’s not the corporates, they help financially in the background, it’s us the fans that make the football and we are the football.”

“Certain attire, such as fancy-dress costumes representing knights or crusaders, may not be welcomed in Qatar,” anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out warned, according to the Daily Mail.

“The attire, complete with swords and crosses, is offensive due to Crusader history of rape, slaughter and occupation of Arab lands,” tweeted researcher Robert Carter, who failed to mention that Muslims were equally as guilty of such atrocities, if not more so.

According to some English fans and the Daily Mail, a cheering Saudi Arabia fan was allegedly permitted to wave a real three-foot-long scimitar outside the stadium after his team’s shock win over Argentina.

Bars in Doha are also reportedly instructing fans who are donning traditional Arabic robes and headdresses to remove them over fears it will offend locals and insult Islam.

This dust-up follows mounting criticism against the Qatari police’s thuggish man-handling of fans over LGBTQ symbols. Qatari officials have stated over and over that “all are welcome” at the World Cup. However, same-sex relationships are illegal in the country.

Teams, including England, who planned to wear “OneLove” armbands in solidarity with LGBTQ causes during the World Cup claim that they were “blackmailed” with the threat of “massive sporting sanctions.”

Journalists and fans from a number of nations have reported that rainbow-themed items, including T-shirts, bucket hats, and flags, were confiscated by Qatari officials. Beer was also banned in the World Cup stadium at the last minute by officials.

The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, demanded that all visitors “respect our culture.”

Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner also visited Qatar to watch two World Cup games in one day, according to the Daily Mail.

They were there to watch Portugal versus Ghana and then Brazil facing Serbia as they toured the Middle East. Ivanka was seen in deep conversation with Qatari prime minister Khalid bin Khalifa Abdulaziz al Thani during the matches.

Republished with permission from American Wire News Service

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