Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, has posted a part of the country’s law on hate speech on Twitter amid controversy over Islamophobic posts by an Indian user on the social media platform.
Last week, Princess Qassimi had shared screenshots of those tweets and said that anyone “openly racist and discriminatory in the UAE will be fined and made to leave”.
The man who posted the tweets was an Indian national working in Dubai. He has since deactivated his account.
“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,” Princess Qassimi wrote
She has since been actively speaking about this on Twitter and sharing links to news articles on action taken against hate speech.
In an interview to NDTV on Monday, she said that she spoke about the offending tweets because “I didn’t like what I saw.”
She also said that she did not believe that such comments made by certain people on Twitter reflected the opinion of all Indians.
“One of the top five countries we trade in is India. We do not deny this friendship,” she said.
Later she posted, “The whole world is on its nerves with Covid19, but the hate should stop.”
The man who had posted the Islamophobic tweets had targeted Muslims over the Tablighi Jamaat meeting held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin early March.
On Saturday, Princess Qassimi tweeted out a list of other religious gatherings that had taken place in India around the same time, saying “all gatherings can increase the spread.”
She is among the several prominent Arab figures who have criticised Islamophobic tweets, including one deleted by BJP MP Tejwasi Surya recently. The Middle East leaders and intellectuals have also questioned the treatment of Muslims in India.
On Sunday, the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) established by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation had called on 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.”
On Monday, the Indian Ambassador to UAE quote-tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, “Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this.”