UAE residents call for sacking of Atul Kochhar for anti-Islam tweet

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The UAE residents are calling for the sacking of a Michelin-star chef in Dubai for his “anti-Islam tweet”. Atul Kochhar, head chef of the popular Rang Mahal Indian restaurant at the JW Marriot Marquis hotel, received flak after taking a dig at Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra for her tweet over a Quantico episode that portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists.

“It’s sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorized by Islam over 2000 years. Shame on You (sic),” Kochhar wrote. He later deleted the tweet and put out an apology, saying the “major error” was “made in the heat of the moment on Sunday”.

“There is no justification for my tweet … I fully recognise my inaccuracies that Islam was founded round 1400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many.”

JW Marriot hotel distanced itself from the chef’s comments. “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,” tweeted JW Marriot Marquis on Monday.

The anti-Islam tweet created a furore on social media, with twitterati calling for firing the chef.

Responding to the hotel’s tweet, a Twitter user, Irena Akbar, said: “But now that there is a clear clash of values (your tolerance vs his bigotry), how can you carry on such a relationship? His contract should be snapped.”

Addressing the hotel, another resident, who uses the Twitter handle, Desi Baba, said: “What action have you taken against this communal bigot? Will you let him continue or remove him to walk the talk?”

Popular commentator and Arab journalist Khaled Almaeena tweeted: “You (Kochhar) have offended me..As a person who loves India its people no matter what their caste or creed. As a secular and liberal, it truly is a horror statement.”

Some residents said they would boycott the restaurant.

“Chef celebrity showed his true colours. I won’t eat here after reading the racist tweets by the head chef,” posted a resident on his Facebook page.

A Twitter user, Ali, said: “I have cancelled my wedding anniversary meal for next month at your restaurant. You knew exactly what you meant as you tweeted that message.

There are multiple Anti-Muslim tweet going viral.

This article was first published at Khaleej Times

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