By Mohsan Javed
An article published in Khaleej Times which is written by Bikram Vohra indicated that Indian Prime Minister Modi held telephonic conversation with leaders in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt to shun tension between India and Arab World.
Vohra claims in his article that all is well now between Arabs and India. However, my Indian friends living here in Gulf believe that it does not look as simple as claimed by Bikram Vohra. They are worrying about their jobs and their positions in Gulf. Sanjeev Sinha who is living in Dubai believes that Indians must be extra careful on their social media platforms and must not pass any comment against Muslims living in India and against Arabian society because 3.4 million Indians living in UAE who send a total of $17 billion in remittances home every year can be sent to home (India) if anger of Arabs do not go down.
Indians are facing serious situation in Gulf countries particularly in UAE where Indians are losing their reputation due to several reasons and B R Shetty Scam has worked as fuel on fire because Shetty has caused billions of dollars to UAE banking system.
There are multiple issues Indians are facing right now in Gulf.
Indians are caught red-handed in insulting Arabs at their social media platforms.
Indians working in gulf are caught in situation when economic meltdown is already knocking at their doors and they can be first choice for downsizing in gulf countries because behavior of Hindutva mindset with Muslims in India has created doubts in the hearts of Muslim owners of their companies for Hindu employees who are caught abusing Islam and Arabian culture in social media.
In another adverse development for Indians, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) had passed a statement demanding safety of Indian Muslims. The Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of OIC condemned the unrelenting vicious Islamophobic campaign in India maligning Muslims for the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination and violence with impunity.
The OIC-IPHRC urged 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.
It is understood that the statement of OIC has backing of leadership of Gulf countries as well as of Saudi Arabia while Kuwait has gone further and the General Secretariat of the Kuwait Council of Ministers on Tuesday April 27 expressed its “deep concern” about the treatment of Indian Muslims. Kuwait called on the OIC to take “necessary and urgent measures” to “preserve the rights of Muslims there”.
Abdullah al-Shoreka, a minister in Kuwait’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, tweeted that it was time for Muslims to speak up against the persecution of their co-religionists.
The Council of Ministers of the State of Kuwait condemns the ethnic attacks against Muslims in India
🌹#Kuwait #Egypt #ksa #UAE #Morocco #India #Pakistan #usa #uk #Jordan #Iraq #India #oman #Bahrain #Qatar #yaman#Islamophobia_In_India
— د. عبدالله الشريكة 🇰🇼 (@DrAlshoreka) April 26, 2020
In simple words—Muslim World has sent a message to India that “Enough is Enough” and it (India) must behave well with Muslims otherwise its economy and its relations with Arab World are in danger.
The spat between Gulf Arab countries and India emerged on Social Media, when some of the Indian working in the Gulf as well as political leaders like BJP’s Subramanian Swami and BJP MP from South Bengaluru tweeted some derogatory remarks about Arab Muslim culture and even Arab women.
Meanwhile, Gulf-Arab media and activists started a campaign exposing Indian atrocities against Muslims and Islam. In response India started a damage control exercise and is now engaging some royal and influential family members on the Indian media and passing advisories through Indian Ambassadors in the Gulf region.
The issue gathered mass in first week April after the RSS sponsored campaign targeted the Indian Tableeghi Jamaat. A surge in Social Media posts blaming Muslims and Islam for outbreak of corona was observed in India and Gulf by 12 April 2020. Indian prominent businessman in Gulf posted images of Muslims modified as coronavirus. The issue came under the radar of prominent Muslim figures from UAE, KSA, Qatar and Kuwait posted matching rebuttal. The matter took a serious turn when Indian BJP MP Tejasvi Surya tweeted on 19 April insulting Arab women basing upon a 2015 tweet by Tarek Fatah’s controversial views on Arab women, Surya tweeted, “95 percent Arab women never had (censored) in last few hundred years: Tarek Fateh.” Princess Hen al Qassimi of Sharjah Royal Family replied Indian MP’s tweet on the same day in a strong worded message pointing social decline in Indian leadership.
One can say that Arab World is waking up and now it has realized that Indians living in gulf and other Arab countries are earning from Arabs and abusing their society, social norms and even their religion—-Islam.
A loud and clear message has been sent to Indians that they have to respect Islamic customs, social norms and Islam if they (Indians) are serious to stay in Gulf and other Arab countries.
Note: Mohsan Javed is a Pakistani born Engineer working in Gulf for the last 7 years.