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‘Stop Hating’: Arab fans slam Western Media for questioning Messi’s 'Bisht'

Some Arab fans digged up old Pele photos in which the football legend is seen wearing traditional Mexican hat after winning the world cup in Mexico. Read More

Monday December 19, 2022 11:27 PM, ummid.com News Network

‘Stop Hating’: Arab fans slam Western Media for questioning Messi’s 'Bisht'

Doha (Qatar): There exists a syndicate and gang in the West followed by their likes in other parts of the world who hates everything related to Islam and Muslims – be it their dress, their culture or their food.

The same gang and its associates were up in arms against Qatar ever since the tiny Arab state won the bid to host 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament.

After failing in their attempts to sabotage the hosting of the mega event in Qatar, they looked for opportunity during the tournament so as to criticise the host ever since the Football World Cup was inaugurated on November 20, 2022. They however found none. To their misery, the event ended as the best ever in the history of Football World Cup.

Disappointed and frustrated, and in desperation they started criticising Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who gifted traditional Arab robe (Qatari Bisht) to Argentina Captain Lionel Messi when he jumped on the podium to receive the World Cup, with UK’s The Telegraph even suggesting that Qatar Emir’s gesture “ruined the moment”.


“The bizarre act that ruined the greatest moment in World Cup history”, the newspaper headlined an article that was later changed to “Lionel Messi made to wear traditional Arab bisht for World Cup trophy lift.”

To others, it was one last attempt for Qatar to stamp its mark on the tournament – a criticism of the “sportswashing” (where critics accused Qatar of using the occasion to paper over its “human rights record”) that has underpinned much of the coverage of the tournament.

“Something a little strange about Messi being dressed in Bisht, that black cloak that the emir of Qatar dressed him in before lifting the World Cup,” New York Times journalist Tariq Panja tweeted.
“Qatar wants this to be its moment as much as it is Messi’s and Argentina’s.”

“Upset” over Qatari Emir who offered Messi the traditional outer garment, worn by Arab elites, former England international and presenter Gary Lineker on BBC during the live coverage of the final said, “Seems a shame in a way that they’ve covered up Messi in his Argentina shirt.”

Messi Bisht

Rejecting the blatant criticism, Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), an organization charged with organizing the World Cup, explained the reasons behind the bisht.

“It is a dress for an official occasion and worn for celebrations. This was a celebration of Messi,” Al Thawadi told BBC Sport.

Dr Susan Borden, Vice-President of DeBakey High School in Doha, Qatar, explained this in more details.

“There has been quite a bit of online commentary, some of it quite derogatory regarding the black robe that Lionel Messi wore prior to accepting the World Cup. For context, we need to explain its significance.

“The garment is called a 'bisht' and it is an outer garment worn in predominantly Arab countries. The name is derived from the Akkadian word bishtu which means 'nobility' or 'prestige'”, she wrote in a LinkedIn post.

“This garment is considered a symbol of great honour. It's a status symbol amongst royalty, the wealthy and those with high social rank, much like a cross between ceremonial graduation robes or, in Western terms, wearing a black tuxedo at a special occasion.”

“When it's the Emir of a country literally gifting you the bisht, putting it on you with his own hands, it's the highest honour that can be bestowed upon that civilian.

“It has nothing to do with religion at all”, she added.

“Messi may not have understood what it meant when he graciously wore it, but it was the Qatari way of recognising him for the GOAT that he is”, she wrote on LinkedIn.

Some Twitter users and Arab asked the Western Media to "stop hating", and tweeted that Arabian warriors used to wear bisht after a victory and Emir of Qatar gave that to Messi in the highest respect and honor.

Some Arab fans digged up old Pele photos in which the football legend is seen wearing traditional Mexican hat after winning the world cup in Mexico. Here are the original tweets:

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