On Sunday, Qatar’s Bedouin ancestry was displayed at the country’s Emir FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Opening Ceremony. He greeted everyone at the biggest football tournament, which was being held for the first time in the Middle East.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani shared the statement:
“I welcome everyone at the 2022 World Cup from Qatar and the Arab world. It is beautiful that people can set aside their differences and enjoy what unites them.”
After that, fireworks blew up from the top of Al Bayt stadium. But what captured the world and enchanted the viewers was reciting verses from the Holy Quran by 20-year-old Quran reciter Ghanim Al Muftah, a Fifa World Cup ambassador.
Ghanim, born with a rare condition that harms the lower spine, appeared next to Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman. The 20-year-old Qatari Qari (a person who recited the Quran with the proper rules of recitation) was seated next to the American actor on the field.
He read, “Oh mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.”
This is perhaps the first time a Fifa World Cup tournament opened with Quranic verses.
In the 2022 World Cup opening ceremony, Freeman narrated the opening part, titled ‘The Calling,’ telling the audience, “We all gather here in one big tribe.”
Ghanim said, referencing the “Bayt al Sha’ar,” or tent that drifting Bedouins of the Arabian peninsula once used for shelter, inspired the stadium design.
“When you call here, we welcome you into our house.”
The actor further said, “I heard something beautiful. Not just music, music, and this appeal to the commemoration.”
While addressing Freeman to the crowd, “How can many countries, languages, and cultures come together if only one way is accepted?”
The Ghanim Replied,” Yes! Through tolerance.”
Later, Freeman addressed the pack by saying, “Football united nations and their love for the striking competition. Communities are united by the same things that unite nations.
Then, Qatari singer Dana was indoors wearing a traditional dress, abaya, and a Battoulah as she filed onto the ground with other performers.
Also, the American actor was joined by dancers, singers, and past World Cup mascots on the field. During the ceremony, “Dreamers” was sung by South Korean pop artist Jung Kook.
Inaugural Controversies regarding the Quran Recitation & Converting People
Quran recitation visuals of an old video from the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022
A video is being shared on social media claiming it shows visuals of Quran recitation at the initial ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. This post declares that Qatar is the first Muslim country to organize the FIFA World Cup and integrate Islamic culture at the inaugural ceremony. Let’s see the verification claim on this page by sources.
The post shared a one-year-old video screening the Quran recitation at the inaugural ceremony of the Al Thumama stadium in Qatar. Qatar inaugurated the Al Thumama stadium for Amir Cup Final in October 2021.
However, during the FIFA World Cup, 2022 opening ceremony on November 20, 2022, Ghanem Al-Moftah recited the verses of the Holy Quran in the presence of actor Morgan Freeman. But the video shared in the post is old and does not illustrate current visuals from the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Hence, the claim made in the post declares false.
On October 24, 2021, a video showing similar visuals was published as a reverse illustration search of the screenshots of the video by the Doha News. Sharing the video, Doha News reported that Qatar incorporated Islamic culture by reciting verses of the Quran during the launch of Al Thumama stadium, a venue selected for the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament.
Old False video shared as Zakir Naik converting people to Islam during FIFA
Old videos from 2016 were shared untruly, claiming to show people converting to Islam in Qatar after listening to Zakir Naik speak at the FIFA World Cup 2022.
As people condemned the Qatari regime for inviting Naik, videos of people purportedly converting to Islam after listening to the preacher talk in Qatar have been widely shared. In one video, a person resembling Naik can be seen reciting Islamic verses, and four others repeat them.
In one more video, people can notice repeating Islamic verses recited by a white man wearing a white robe. This video was filmed in an outside place. A Facebook user shared this video with the writing:
“A FIFA World Cup updated. Though the event hasn’t yet begun, more than 1000 people have already converted to Islam.”
AFWA found that both videos are previous and have no link with the current FIFA World Cup. At the time of the case, there was no news of anybody converting to Islam during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
On May 27, 2016, the Doha-based channel Al Jazeera Mubasher also public an alike video on its Facebook page. It was the live transmission of a lecture by Naik titled “Does God Exist?”
Comparing a screen capture of the viral video with the Aljazeera video, correspondence between them could be easily noticed.
As per reports, in May 2016, Zakir Naik visited the Cultural Village Foundation in Doha, Qatar. When he presented this address to large viewers of around 13,000 people, reportedly, the lecture ended with the adaptation of eight people to Islam.
On YouTube on March 14, 2018, according to the reverse-searched key form, it and found that it had been shared. Its title read: “60 Filipinos convert to Islam.”
Comparing the second viral video with this one makes it clear that they are the same.
Though, it could not authenticate this video’s precise date or locality. However, since it has been on the internet since 2018, we summarized that it was unrelated to the FIFA World Cup 2022.
To summarize, two old videos are being falsely publicized as people converting to Islam at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.