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Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi has reminded its countrymen against discriminatory behaviour.

In a tweet on Monday, the Indian ambassador to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor, said: “India and 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’s tweet comes a day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced similar concerns on the microblogging website and called for unity and brotherhood in dealing with the threat posed by coronavirus.

“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,” Modi had said in a tweet which was shared by Kapoor.

Islamophobia outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated Islamophobia in India, resulting in anti-Muslim campaigns across the country. Reports have emerged of Indian hospitals segregating Hindus and Muslims or refusing to admit Muslim patients.

Calls for the economic boycott of Muslims have intensified in recent weeks amid reports vilifying them for spreading the virus.

The accusations of sabotage have also led to a spate of violence targeting Muslims.

Prominent Arabs speak out

Alarmed by the developments, several prominent social media handles in the region have expressed outrage over the “ill-treatment” of Muslims in India.

Last week, Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of a UAE royal family warned that “anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave the country.”

She also slammed Dubai-based Indian expat Saurabh Upadhyay who had put out several tweets targeting Muslims and ridiculing Islam. Sharing screenshots of his tweets, Al Qassimi said: “You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.”

Minutes later Upadhyay deactivated his account.

More recently Dubai-based businesswoman Noora AlGhurair called out Tejasvi Surya, a member of parliament of India’s ruling Bhartiya Janta Party for an obnoxious comment he had posted about Arab women in 2015.

Sharing the tweet, Noora Al Ghurair said she pitied his [Surya] education that has taught him to disrespect women”. She also warned him against “travelling to Arab lands if he is ever bestowed a foreign ministry”. Surya has deleted the tweet but the hashtag #Dismiss_Tejasvi_Surya is trending in India.

Post at your own peril

Of late. a number of Indians working in the Middle East have been sacked for Islamphophobic social media posts.

In another related development, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Sunday urged India to take “urgent steps” to protect the rights of its minority Muslim community and stop the incidents of “Islamophobia” in the country.

The OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission in a tweet also said the Indian media was negatively profiling the Muslims and subjecting them to discrimination. In an earlier tweet, the OIC-UPHRC 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 & violence with impunity.”