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India
13 Jun 2018

JW Marriott fires famous chef Atul Kochhar for Islamophobic remarks

Chef Atul Kochhar seeks forgiveness after Islamophobic remarks

Hours after Michelin Star chef Atul Kochhar tweeted an apology for his Islamophobic remarks, Dubai's JW Marriott Marquis Hotel announced that they have fired him.

"With the termination of our agreement, Chef Atul will no longer be associated with the restaurant," Marquis said.

Indian-origin Kochhar had responded to a controversial 'Quantico' episode, saying in a tweet that Muslims 'terrorized' Hindus for over 2,000 years.

In context

Chef Atul Kochhar seeks forgiveness after Islamophobic remarks
The beginning of the row that led to Kochhar's apologies

The controversy

The beginning of the row that led to Kochhar's apologies

It all started when an episode of 'Quantico', featuring Priyanka Chopra, showed Indians framing Pakistanis for a terror plot.

Hindus lashed out at the makers, forcing ABC and Chopra to apologize.

Wading into the row, Kochhar tweeted Chopra should be ashamed for disrespecting Hindu sentiments, who've been 'terrorized' by Muslims.

After receiving criticism, Kochhar took to Twitter to admit it was a major error.

Damage

After Kochhar's bigoted tweet, his business took a hit

Soon after the comment, many spoke about boycotting Kochhar's restaurant. Others claimed they cancelled their reservations.

Dubai's JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, which houses Kochhar's Rang Mahal restaurant, distanced itself from the comments immediately.

Notably, Muslims form a large section of Benares' clientele, the restaurant of Kochhar that got Michelin Star in 2007.

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The first apology: Kochhar claims he isn't Islamophobic

"There is no justification for my tweet, a major error made in the heat of the moment on Sunday. I fully recognize my inaccuracies that Islam was founded around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologize. I am not Islamophobic," Kochhar tweeted on June 11.

Soon, a second apology followed where he expressed regret

But will an apology be enough? Maybe not

The aftermath

But will an apology be enough? Maybe not

In his tweet, Kochhar said he aims to unite cultures through food and that he's upset for causing pain to many. He also asked for forgiveness.

However, the termination of Marquis' association may not be the end for Kochhar. He could be prosecuted in Dubai for spreading hate against Islam, claim media reports.

He could be fined 1mn dirhams and jailed for five years.

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