'Scorn, ridicule will not go unnoticed': UAE royal warns after BJP MP Tejasvi Surya's tweet about Arab women

In response to the backlash being faced by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, who had deleted a five-year-old tweet after social media users in the Gulf countries criticised him for his remarks on Arab women, Sharjah royal family member Princess Hend Al Qassimi said that the “scorn and ridicule will not go unnoticed”

FP Staff April 21, 2020 09:45:51 IST
'Scorn, ridicule will not go unnoticed': UAE royal warns after BJP MP Tejasvi Surya's tweet about Arab women

In response to the backlash being faced by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, who had deleted a five-year-old tweet after social media users in the Gulf countries criticised him for his remarks on Arab women, Sharjah royal family member Princess Hend Al Qassimi said that the “scorn and ridicule will not go unnoticed”.

"I knew India, the country of Gandhi, a country which suffered enough. The whole world is on its nerves with COVID-19 , but the hate should stop," she further wrote.

The tweet, dated 23 March, 2015, quoted an interview by Pakistani-Canadian journalist and author Tarek Fatah and criticised the lack of freedom in the Gulf when it comes to sex and motherhood. The tweet by the Bangalore South Lok Sabha MP read, "95% of Arab women have never had an orgasm in the last few hundred years! Every mother has produced kids as an act of sex and not love. @Tarek Fatah."

According to author and economist Rupa Subramanya, Fatah's full quote had mentioned human rights violations, citing Arab Spring and the fact that "women were being sexually assaulted by men" in Cairo. However, journalist Mohammed Zubair pointed out that Surya, while quoting Fatah, had agreed with him and added that "Islamofascism is a great threat to civilisation".

Screenshots of Surya’s tweet were widely circulated hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “ COVID-19 does not see race, religion, colour, caste, creed, language or borders before striking.”

Among the first to slam Surya for his tweet was Dubai-based businesswoman Noora AlGhurair, who said she “pitied his upbringing that has taught him to disrespect women”. She also warned him against “travelling to Arab lands if he is ever bestowed a foreign ministry”.

Mejbel Al Sharika, a Kuwait-based lawyer and Director of International Human Rights, shared the screenshot of the tweet and urged Twitter to suspend Surya’s account for his racial slur, which “badly wounded” the Arab sentiment.

Similar sentiments were shared by Abdur Rahman Nassar, an intellectual from Kuwait, who tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi while criticising the tweet, requested for Surya’s Parliament membership to be cancelled.

The Congress’ national spokesperson Sanjay Jha said that India stands embarrassed and humiliated due to Surya’s tweet.

As the Twitter war ensued, Indian ambassador to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor, tweeted on Monday, “India and UAE share the value of non-discrimination on any grounds. Discrimination is against our moral fabric and the Rule of law. Indian nationals in the UAE should always remember this.”

Last year, the BJP MP was forced to delete another tweet from 2014, where he had opposed women reservation in Parliament. His 2014 tweet read, "With the exception of Womens' Reservation in Parliament, Modi govt agenda is inspiring. Dread d day when women's reservation becomes reality," was widely shared.

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