UAE: Call for sacking of Indian-origin chef after 'anti-Islam' tweet
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) residents are calling for the sacking of Indian-origin chef Atul Kochhar for his "anti-Islam" tweet. Kochhar, a Michelin-Star chef in Dubai well known for his Rang Mahal Indian restaurant at JW Marriott Marquis hotel, received flak after taking a dig at Priyanka Chopra for her tweet over a Quantico episode that portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists, Khaleej Times reported.
"It's sad to see that you (Priyanka) have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorized by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on You (sic)," Kochhar tweeted. He later deleted the tweet and apologized for "major error" that was "made in the heat of the moment on Sunday". "I'm not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many," Kochhar tweeted.
There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday. I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many.— Atul Kochhar (@atulkochhar) June 11, 2018
The anti-Islam tweet created a furor on social media, with Twitterati calling for firing the chef. Arab journalist Khaled Almaeena tweeted: "You have offended me... As a person who loves India its people no matter what their caste or creed. As a secular and liberal, it's truly a horror statement." Some said they would boycott the restaurant, while one canceled his wedding anniversary meal.
JW Marriot Marquis hotel, however, distanced itself from the chef's comments and tweeted that they do not share the same views as stated by Kochhar.
We are aware of the comments made by Chef Atul Kochhar. We would like to stress that we do not share the same views as stated in the remark, nor is it a representation of the culture of diversity and inclusion that we pride ourselves on at the hotel.— JW Marriott Marquis (@JWDubaiMarquis) June 11, 2018