Qatar seeks to change the attitude toward Islam at World Cuptext_fields
Doha: Qatar, the first Gulf emirate and the first Muslim nation to host a football World Cup, has taken the opportunity to change the world's mindset about Islam.
The Qatar Guest Center has brought dozens of Muslim preachers from around the world for the tournament. At the Blue Mosque, an Ottoman-style mosque in Doha's Katara cultural district, booklets explaining Islam and Prophet Mohammed in various languages are being distributed along with Arabic coffee and dates, reported AFP.
A volunteer said the World Cup is an opportunity to change "misconceptions" about Islam that many people in the West link to radicalism. The booklets explain ethics, the importance of family bonding, and respect for neighbours. Most questions asked by people are about the veil, polygamy, and the oppression of women.
Murals showcasing quotes from the Prophet are in focus in the Pearl district. Free books and pamphlets are left in the Souq Waqif market with a sign reading "if you are looking for happiness, you will find it in Islam." The Sheikh Abdulla bin Zaid Islamic Cultural Center is open 12 hours a day for tours.
The head of the Voice of Islam radio station told AFP that the World Cup should be used to find new converts as well as counter Islamophobia. He added that he offer foreign fans to convert to Islam. However, he insisted that Islam does not accept conversion through coercion.