Al-Qaeda has issued a grim warning to Muslims and urged them not to attend the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
The terror organization released a statement the day before the FIFA World Cup kicked off but stopped short of issuing direct threats.
SITE Intelligence group, a US non-governmental organisation that tracks the online activity of jihadist organisations, exposed the issued alarming message on November 19.
"We warn our Muslim brothers from following this event or attending it," the group said.
The chilling message was issued by the militant group's Yemen-based branch and criticised Qatar for 'bringing immoral people, homosexuals, sowers of corruption and atheism into the Arabian Peninsula'.
Al-Qaeda added that the event diverts attention away from the 'occupation of Muslim countries and their oppression', according to Reuters.
The nation has a penalty of up to seven years’ imprisonment for those within the LGBTQI+ community and those who have intercourse with a person of the same sex.
The nation also operates under a version of Sharia law, which means that it could be possible for men who are intimate with each other to be sentenced to death.
While Qatar upholds these laws during the World Cup, the country has said it will welcome people of all sexualities, as long as they abide by their customs.
The hashtag #BoycottQatar has dominated Twitter and Instagram in recent moments, while the same phrase can be found on TikTok and was even broadcast by fans holding banners during football games in France and Germany.
But others believe that if everyone who identified as or are allies of the LGBTQ+ community boycotted the World Cup, then there would be no representation at all.
Paul Britton, who is a part of the LGBTQ+ community, told the LADbible Group that it would be ‘counterproductive’ to shun the event completely.
"It would be counterproductive to boycott the World Cup in Qatar," the managing director of Britton&Time said.
"By boycotting you lose the opportunity to give these important issues the stage they deserve and encourage countries like Qatar to step up and do the right thing, by these people of all genders and sexuality."
The World Cup kicked off over the weekend with the opening ceremony and the first match.
Featured Image Credit: Steve Allen Travel Photography / Alamy. Moritz Müller / Alamy.