Qatar UN ambassador calls on God to ‘curse’ gay people in resurfaced tweet
Qatar’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has deleted her Twitter account after it was revealed she had published numerous homophobic and antisemitic comments online.
Hend Al-Muftah deleted her account (@halmuftah) days after losing her bid to become chair of the United Nations (UN) Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law.
Instead, Patricia Hermanns, the Bahamas ambassador, was elected to the post.
The announcement was made by the president of the UN Human Rights Council, Federico Villegas, who did not mention the controversy surrounding Al-Muftah.
BREAKING: Qatar's Ambassador of Hate, Hend Al-Muftah, just deleted her account @halmuftah after we nixed her bid for a top UN human rights post over her tweets (⬇️) accusing the Jews of orchestrating 9/11 & calling gays “disgusting.” She just met with FIFA chief Gianni Infantino. https://t.co/O9vdDuG09F pic.twitter.com/mxfbteB83z
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) September 28, 2022
Al-Muftah’s bigoted tweets were exposed by UN Watch – an independent human rights monitoring organisation based in Geneva. It revealed the details three days before the UN role was announced.
A letter sent to the UN Human Rights Council president by UN Watch detailed Al-Muftah’s tweets and expressed “grave concern” at her nomination for the human rights role, Jerusalem Post reported.
UN Watch urged the UN to oppose Qatar’s bid to take the position, and in its letter recalled a “long record” of Al-Muftah’s wrongdoings.
It said: “Qatar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva has a long record of publishing racist tropes about Jews, bigoted attacks on gays, and disinformation and conspiracy theories about Western societies and liberalism.”
Qatar UN ambassador has a history of antisemitism and homophobia
The letter detailed antisemitic tweets posted by Al-Muftah, including one which read: “We learned from a young age that the Jews are our enemies!”
Another post recommended a book called The Great Conspiracy by Dr Mustafa Mahmoud which accuses Jews of infecting Western civilisation with “obscenity and decadence, cocaine, crack, nudity, sex and violence”.
In another, Al-Muftah responded to a UN plea for LGBTQ+ rights in Africa by saying: “Stay away from Middle East and Arab countries, keep your rights for your people.”
The UN ambassador also used her account to say that “defending human rights has nothing to do with gay rights!” with two more calling on God to “curse” gay people.
‘Opportunity for long-lasting reforms’
Federico Villegas recently met with FIFA president Gianni Infantino to discuss “various human rights-related projects including on the FIFA World Cup in Qatar”.
There has been concern about the safety of queer football fans attending this year’s World Cup, due to Qatar’s strict anti-LGBTQ+ laws.
After the meeting, Infantino published a statement saying he told Villegas “how the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has been an opportunity to carry out long-lasting reforms”.
He said: “The abolishment of the kafala system, the introduction of minimum wages and heat protection measures for workers are among the positive changes that are recognised and praised by independent international organisations.
“FIFA played a part on the substantial progress that has been made in a very short time, and we will keep on working together with the Qatar authorities to make sure that the upcoming FIFA World Cup will be a tournament where everyone will be welcome.”
In response, Villegas said: “FIFA has shown that football has an important role to play in improving awareness on human rights issues, not only in Qatar where the FIFA World Cup is taking place, but also across the world.”
“I’m glad to hear about recent developments that demonstrate that as an organisation, FIFA has taken a strong stance to combat human rights abuses, such as racism and discrimination, which are welcome and I continue to encourage.”
In the run-up to the World Cup, the UK’s Football Association (FA) has assured LGBTQ+ fans they will not face arrest for holding hands or kissing at the event.
Under the country’s penal code same-sex relations can be punished with up to seven years imprisonment, while queer Muslim men, under Sharia law, can be punished with the death penalty.
LGBTQ+ rights activist Peter Tatchell told PinkNews he believes FA chief executive Mark Bullingham and the FA are “gullible” to believe any assurances given.
It follows Qatar’s ambassador to Germany being confronted with an urgent plea to abolish his country’s death penalty for homosexuality following FIFA’s decision to allow Qatar to host the World Cup.
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