Qatar is a very conservative society. I was surprised not to be able to enter some of the shopping malls during weekend ie Thursdays & Fridays here because I was going in by myself. It's a family mall on weekends!!!
As in any part of the world, one has a duty, in terms of protocol, to give due weight to the cultural norms of the host country.
In Qatar, it is important to understand the respect in which the Head of State, H.H. The Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani is held [here shown with the Heir Apparent, Jassem bin Hamad al Thani]
Qatar is an absolute monarchy, which will have an elected assembly by 2002. It is important to understand that, while nothing would probably happen to a foreigner who voiced criticisms of the political status quo, it might be considered a social gaffe, just as in the USA (at least in certain circles), it is often considered de trop to criticize the Zionist influence, 'Holocaust' propaganda etc.