India warns its citizens living in Gulf countries against communal views

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) India on Monday warned its citizens living in the UAE against discrimination after the Arab countries accused Indians of blaming Muslims for the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Since the Islamic missionary Tablighi Jamaat emerged as the super-spreader of coronavirus cases in the country, many users on social media have been posting communally provocative content, triggering outrage among Muslims in the Gulf countries.

Taking note of the growing complaints, the ambassador to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor in a tweet said, “India and 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 based his comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier tweet, “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.”

The warning to Indian nationals in the Gulf came after Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the federation of 57 Muslim nations, on Sunday had condemned “the unrelenting vicious Islamophobic campaign in India maligning Muslims for spread of Covid-19 as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination and violence with impunity.”

In another tweet, IPHRC urged the Indian government to take “urgent steps to stop the growing tide of Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted Muslim minority” as per its obligations under international human rights law. The tweets were liked and retweeted by hundreds of users.

A member of UAE’s royal family, Princess Hend Al Qassimi warned an Indian living in the UAE against his controversial tweets, saying, “Anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave.” Over 14,000 people liked her tweet and thousands joined the Twitter conversation.

“The ruling family is friends with Indians, but as a royal your rudeness is not welcome. All employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed,” she further warned the Indian national.

Several other Twitter users from other Arab countries alleged that while Hindus are treated well in the Gulf countries, Muslims in India are being mistreated. One Arab Twitter, accused parliamentarian Tejasvi Surya of racism and sexism for an old tweet in which he had quoted Canadian author Tarek Fatah on Arab women.A

“India’s relation with the Arab world has been that of mutual respect. Do you allow your parliamentarian to publicly humiliate our women? We expect your urgent punitive action against Tejasvi Surya for his disgraceful comment,” the Arab tweeted.