Indians in UAE warned against hate speech, discrimination

Indian expats, reportedly, blamed Muslims for the spread of Covid-19 in online comments.

Following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet against giving religious angle to the spread of Covid-19, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor has warned expats in the UAE against discriminatory behaviour and hate speech.

“India and the UAE share the value of non-discrimination on many grounds.

Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this,” Kapoor said in his tweet.

In the past few days, multiple comments were reportedly posted by Indian expats blaming Muslim community for the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. The ambassador also shared Modi’s tweet, which said: “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.”

Hate must stop: Sheikha Hend

Emirati businesswoman and philanthropist Sheikha Hend Al Qassimi reiterated her call to expats against Islamophobic messages.

“I knew India, the country of Gandhi, a country which suffered enough. The whole world is on its nerves with Covid-19, but the hate should stop. Namaste,” Al Qassimi said as she shared tweets by Modi and Kapoor.

Sheikha Hend also warned the UAE law applies on nationals and non-nationals in terms of hate speech. Earlier she had shared hateful messages made by an Indian expat and warned that “anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave”. In the past few weeks there have been many Islamophobic social media posts made by Indian expats in the UAE. 

Religious intolerance a criminal offence in UAE

The UAE stands strong for tolerance and has made religious intolerance and hatred criminal offences punishable under the law. A federal law passed in 2015 criminalises any form of discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion or caste. It also criminalises any act that incites religious hatred or insults religion, either verbally or in print or online. There were a number of instances when racist comments or hate speeches landed people, including Emiratis and expats, in trouble. Recently, an Emirati media person was arrested for racist comments on a video, which sought to create divisions based on ethnicity and nationality among the various communities living in the UAE. The video was particularly offensive to one community.

In another incident, an Indian expat working as chief accountant in Dubai was fired by his company for allegedly sharing Islamophobic posts on Facebook related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, an Indian chef at a Dubai restaurant lost his job for making an online threat to rape a Delhi-based law student over her views on the controversial Citizen Amendment Act of India.

In 2018, JW Marriott Marquis Hotel ended contract with Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar after his Twitter post stated that ‘followers of Islam had “terrorised” Hindus for 2,000 years.

Source ; News Agencies

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