Abu Dhabi: Princess Hend Faisal Al Qassemi, a member of the United Arab Emirates royal family has been in front line to criticize over Islamophobic tweets by Indians in Dubai. She has said that the likes of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were the role models to follow in times such as these.
“There is no winner if this turns aggressive. We have to follow the Nelson Mandela-Martin Luther-Gandhi way of doing things,” said Al Qassemi. “We don’t need another Hitler, we need a new Gandhi,” she told The Telegraph Online.
Hate speech is crime
“In the Emirates hate speech was a crime and punishable offence,” said Al Qassemi who was among the first to call out an Indian for posting Islamophobic tweets.
On April 15, the Al Qasssemi used screenshots of a now de-activated account of one Saurabh Upadhyay to state “Anyone that is openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave“
Royals follow suit
Soon others royals, lawyer and social activists followed the suit and went about sharing hate speeches by Indian politicians and videos of the February violence in north east Delhi. A Kuwaiti lawyer called in United Nations to intervene and stop the Islamophobia in India.
India’s ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor tweeted: “Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this.”
What happened to India?
“I noticed an Indian making fun of my religion, my prophet, my country and it’s achievements, ridiculed it’s accomplishments and was threatening us on our land. I was shocked and I felt violated,” Al Qassemi said.
Al Qassemi said that many Indians claimed that she was defending the Tablighi Jamaat, who were blamed for spreading the virus. “To be honest, I’ve never heard of them (Tablighi Jamaat). I wasn’t defending a political group in India. I was defending humans being killed,” she said.
“What happened to India?” she said, implying that this wasn’t the country she knew. “Hinduism is one of the most peaceful religions. Perhaps more than Islam, Christianity and Judaism,” she added and recalled how she grew up watching Indian movies, eventually picking up a bit of Hindi too.
She said she has had Hindi-speaking classmates, colleagues, workers and managers and even has “India (Hend)” as her first name.
In reply to one of Upadhyay’s tweets, Al Qassemi wrote that she was raised in a home with Hindus who were her family. She went on to report Upadhyay to the local authorities to “make an example that hate is not welcome here (UAE)”.
India and the UAE, have had longstanding trade and business ties because of which tens of thousands of Indians depended on the Gulf for livelihood.
An estimated 3.3 million Indians live in UAE. Around 8.9 million Indians work in Gulf countries.