The UCI is holding the Road World Championships in Doha Qatar next month. The USA is sending a team, including a womens team. I think it’s a disgrace.
Bestowing the honor of hosting one of cycling’s most prestigous events, the World Championships, should not be taken lightly. Granting this privilege to a country implies validity and respect, that they are worthy.
In the case of Qatar, nothing could be further from the truth.
While paying lip service to rights, the truth is…
Qatar is an absolute monarchy. Political parties are banned. Slavery is rife. There is no free speech. There is no objective law and no individual rights. It’s barbaric. Not to mention that we’re at war with a more a consistent form of the governing ideology, radical Islam.
“Sharia law is the main source of Qatari legislation according to Qatar’s Constitution. Sharia law is applied to laws pertaining to family law, inheritance, and several criminal acts (including adultery, robbery and murder). In some cases in Sharia-based family courts, a female’s testimony is worth half a man’s and in some cases a female witness is not accepted at all.”
“Flogging is used in Qatar as a punishment for alcohol consumption or illicit sexual relations. Article 88 of Qatar’s criminal code declares the punishment for adultery is 100 lashes. Adultery is punishable by death when a Muslim woman and a non-Muslim man are involved.”
“Apostasy is a crime punishable by the death penalty in Qatar. Blasphemy is punishable by up to seven years in prison and proselytizing any religion other than Islam can be punished by up to 10 years in prison. Homosexuality is a crime punishable in sharia by the death penalty for Muslims, though in Qatar the penalty for consenting males is up to 5 years in prison.”
Source: Human Rights in Qatar, Wikipedia
It goes on… forced labor and more.
This is where the UCI holds it’s most prestigious race of the year. And USA Cycling sees no problem.
Can we still claim to be the land of the free, home of the brave… a shining beacon of liberty? Can we expect to eradicate such horrific abuses of individual rights while turning a blind eye and treating the violators as respected members of the world community? And what does it say to the victims of such regimes?