Islamophobia row: India reaches out to Gulf states

New Delhi: In order to tamp down a potential communal outburst fuelled by rising Islamophobia in India, the government has mounted a diplomatic offensive in the Gulf Arab states. Since the Modi government has invested deeply in its relations with the Arab world, social media outrage and fake Twitter handles could have impacted not only Indians living in Gulf Arab states but also between governments.

Speaking personally to his counterparts across the Arab, foreign minister S Jaishankar reassured them that even Indian diplomats are working overtime to expose the fake social media posts that fuelled this controversy.

Earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi also spoke to his counterparts in the Gulf and other parts of the Islamic world.

While India has refused to bring back its nationals who are stranded in these countries until after May 3 when the national lockdown ends, it has assured all assistance to these countries.

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Foreign minister reassured Gulf countries that India would ensure adequate food supplies to the Gulf during the Muslim holy month of Ramzaan. India is also supplying Hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Egypt and Palestine.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has had to scramble to reverse some of the ill-will being created on social media.

Urging Indians living in Oman not to get distracted by fake news on social media, Munu Mahawar, India’s ambassador to Oman said, “India and Oman share a very special relationship based on mutual understanding and trust.” A fake message attributed to Her Highness Sayyida Mona bint Fahd Al Said, went viral among the Indian community that was posted through an impersonated Twitter account. The princess later clarified that it was a fake handle.

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Similarly, India’s ambassador to UAE, Pawan Kapoor had also called for communal harmony a few days ago in response to several Twitter posts emerging quoting Hindus blaming Muslims for the spread of COVID in India.

after speaking to Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed foreign minister of UAE, Jaishankar also spoke to Riad Al Malki, foreign minister of Palestine On Friday stressing the need for international cooperation in the middle of a deadly pandemic.

Speaking to the foreign minister of Qatar, as well as of Oman, Jaishankar appreciated #Oman’s taking care of the Indian community there. He also assured India’s support in the collective fight against #coronavirus.”

Earlier on Thursday, Jaishankar spoke to the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. He tweeted: “Appreciated the very warm conversation with HH Prince Faisal, FM of #SaudiArabia. Thanked him for taking care of the Indian community there. Discussed our shared interest in ensuring health and food security. India will remain a reliable partner.”

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