Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute: Qatar: The World's Wealthiest Family-Run Gas Station
The proud Gulf state of Qatar boasts human habitation dating back to 50,000 years ago. It may not be the only country across the world with such an impressive historical habitation story. But what makes it unique is its skillfully planned preservation tradition, particularly its persistent touch on medieval, not ancient, history.
Qatar is the world's wealthiest country, or more of a family-run gas station. It boasts abiding by various aspects of the sharia (Islamic religious law), which, according to its constitution, it considers the main source of its legislation. In Qatar, flogging and stoning are legal forms of punishment. Apostasy (leaving Islam) is a crime punishable by the death penalty.
The Qataris, not knowing that their grandchildren would one day be the best strategic allies of their Ottoman colonialists' grandchildren, fought the Ottomans to gain their independence in 1915, ending the 44-year-long Ottoman rule in the peninsula. Independence came at last, and lasted for about a year -- until 1916, when Qatar became a British protectorate, retaining that status until 1971.
"Modern day slavery" is the way many people describe Qatar's treatment of expatriate laborers on World Cup sites. "The fact that thousands must die to build 12 fine stadiums for us has nothing to do with football," said William Kvist of the Danish national team. Some 1,200 workers have already died and, according to warnings, up to 4,000 could perish before World Cup begins.