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India's UAE envoy warns diaspora amidst outrage over 'Islamophobic' tweets

April 21, 2020 14:52 IST

India's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates has reminded the diaspora living in the Gulf country of the importance of adhering to the rule of law, saying discrimination is against 'our moral fabric' as some Indians posted 'Islamophobic' comments on social media platforms, triggering outrage from the Arab citizens.



Ambassador of India to the UAE Pavan Kapoor quoted a tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said that COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking.

'Our response and conduct thereafter should attach primacy to unity and brotherhood. We are in this together,' Modi said in the tweet.

The envoy in his tweet said India and the UAE share the value of non-discrimination on any grounds.

'Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this,' he said.

His remarks on Twitter came after comments of some Indians, including that of Bharatiya Janata Party Member of Parliament for Bengaluru (South) Lok Sabha constituency Tejasvi Surya, started doing the rounds on social media, with several people terming them as 'Islamophobic'.

The offensive comments of Indians triggered an outrage from the Arab nationals who took to social media to condemn and question their remarks.

Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of the UAE royal family, took note of the offensive remarks and said that the UAE law applies on nationals and non-nationals in terms of hate speech.

She said last week that 'anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave the country'.

The screenshot of BJP MP Surya's now-deleted tweet was shared multiple times on Twitter with people condemning the leader for his 'Islamophobic' remarks on Arab women.

Recently, a prominent Indian businessman in the UAE apologised for 'unintentionally hurting religious sentiments' through his poem, which alluded to a Muslim religious group.

Sohan Roy, founder chairman of Sharjah-based Aries Group, in a Facebook live video on Saturday, apologised for his 'Islamophobic' post, The Gulf News reported.

Last week, an Indian national working in the UAE was sacked by his company for allegedly sharing Islamophobic posts on Facebook related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bala Krishna Nakka from Hyderabad, working as Chief Accountant at Dubai's Moro Hub Data Solutions Company, was sacked after his Facebook went viral, evoking widespread condemnation.

Nakka joined a growing list of Indian expats who have landed in trouble for alleged Islamophobic social media messages in recent days.

Rakesh B Kitturmath, who worked as a team leader at Emrill Services, an integrated facilities management (FM) headquartered in Dubai, was sacked a week earlier after his post sparked an outrage on social media.

Earlier, Abu Dhabi resident Mitesh Udeshi was sacked for posting a cartoon mocking Islam on his Facebook page while a police complaint was filed against Sameer Bhandari of Future Vision Events & Weddings' in Dubai after he asked a Muslim job seeker from India to go back to Pakistan.

The UAE outlaws all religious or racial discrimination under a legislation passed in 2015.

The anti-discrimination/anti-hatred law prohibits all acts 'that stoke religious hatred and/or which insult religion through any form of expression, be it speech or the written word, books, pamphlets or via online media'.

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