Jack Engelhard
Jack EngelhardJack Engelhard

Two teams dashing back and forth, kicking a ball, for two hours, and in the end, usually nothing happens. Zero, Zero, or Nil, Nil, as they say.

We call it soccer. They call it football, and take my word for it, that ain’t football. Football, as we know it in America, is two teams suited up like gladiators for the purpose of inflicting pain and misery on the other side…no prisoners taken…and the score frequently ends up something like 35 to 21. That’s football.

Besides, on the soccer field, how do they keep score, when both teams are Islamic, and nearly every player is named Mohammad?

For the games that I watched, so you wouldn’t have to, the announcers were having difficulties telling those players apart.

Watching the howling spectators in the stands, cheering one national team to the next, I keep thinking David’s Psalm #2…” Why are the nations in an uproar?”

National pride, obviously.

Or maybe these people, millions of them, from all over the world, have no other life. World Cup soccer is all they’ve got…and only once every four years.

That is a long time to wait between thrills…and if your team loses it’s back to the monotony and squalor of real life.

But let’s call it national pride.

On that, Qatar, the host, gets a dubious trophy, if not for play on the field, but for its extravagance to get the world to notice and appreciate this Islamic wonderland, an oil-rich home to 2.6 million Qatar Muslims, and a few million foreigners, all abiding by the same rules. Strictly Islam. Everything else is frowned upon.

Flogging is popular over there; nearly a sport.

Upon the notion “if we build it, they will come,” so they built it (from heaps of natural gas revenue), and the people do keep coming.

We read, from reporter Andrea Samuels and the BBC, the following:

“Qatar has built seven stadiums for the World Cup finals as well as a new airport, metro system, series of roads and about 100 new hotels.”

Within the severity of Sharia Law, many were overworked, lashed, and imprisoned until more than 6,000 died in what amounts to flagrant human rights abuse, for which Qatar is famous…where is the United States on this; where is the UN? The media?
To get that done, over a period of some 12 years, dating back to 2010, when Qatar bought the rights for the World Cup, Qatar’s rulers imported migrants not to play.

But to work.

These were the destitute from Asia and Africa who were desperate for a buck, but found themselves trapped under slave conditions.

Within the severity of Sharia Law, many were overworked, lashed, and imprisoned until more than 6,000 died in what amounts to flagrant human rights abuse, for which Qatar is famous.

You ask…where is the United States on this; where is the UN? The media?

I ask the same question. Same answer. Silence.

But loudly the Biden Administration keeps poking Israel about that Palestinian Arab reporter, Abu Akleh, who became a casualty in the fog of war between the IDF and Arab terrorists.

Of notable interest, the lady was a journalist for Al-Jazeera, which is owned and run by Qatar, and which should know that accidents happen in the heat of combat.

Journalists know the risk…and so far, 65-plus have lost their lives covering the world’s hot spots…and generally, we don’t know their names.

Biden, though, wants answers from Israel again and again about this one fatality…obviously to give the Jews no rest from baseless accusation. An old story. Perhaps the oldest.

Yet not once is he asking the autocratic emir of Qatar to answer for the 6,000-plus migrants who were killed building Qatar’s playgrounds and skyscraper pyramids.

There is still time to get there for the rest of the games.

Enjoy.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Email Jack here.


Engelhard books
Engelhard booksJ.Engelhard