'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”
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”.
The ruling family is friends with Indians, but as a royal your rudeness is not welcome. All employees are paid to work, no one comes for free. You make your bread and butter from this land which you scorn and your ridicule will not go unnoticed.
— Princess Hend Al Qassimi (@LadyVelvet_HFQ) April 15, 2020
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".
He later tweeted "Having said that, I agree with him that islamofascism is grave threat to civilization" pic.twitter.com/b2ZxLEAxwb
— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) April 19, 2020
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”.
Pity Ur upbringing @Tejasvi_Surya that respect for women couldn’t be instilled in U despite India having some great female leaders .Please note if someday the govt bestows a foreign ministry to you, avoid travelling to Arab lands. You are not welcome here. This will be remembered pic.twitter.com/KJJlqJL5tR
— Noora AlGhurair (@AlGhurair98) April 19, 2020
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.
@PMOIndia Respected Prime minister @narendramodi India's relation with the Arab world has been that of mutual respect. Do you allow your parliamentarian to publicly humiliate our women? We expect your urgent punitive action against @Tejasvi_Surya for his disgraceful comment. pic.twitter.com/emymJrc5aU
— المحامي⚖مجبل الشريكة (@MJALSHRIKA) April 19, 2020
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.
— عبدالرحمن النصار (@alnassar_kw) April 19, 2020
The Congress’ national spokesperson Sanjay Jha said that India stands embarrassed and humiliated due to Surya’s tweet.
The BJP gives tickets to Praggya Singh Thakur and #TejasviSurya etc because it helps popularise their hardline bigoted political profile.
But the chickens usually come home to roost. Today, India stands embarrassed, humiliated.
— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) April 20, 2020
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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