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Indian-origin Dubai chef slammed for ‘anti-Islam’ tweet

DUBAI

An Indian-origin man who is the head chef of a popular Indian restaurant here is facing criticism for his “anti-Islam tweet”.

Michelin-star chef Atul Kochhar of the Rang Mahal restaurant at the JW Marriot Marquis hotel received flak after taking a dig at actress Priyanka Chopra for her tweet over a “Quantico” episode that portrayed Hindu nationalists as terrorists, the Khaleej Times reported on Tuesday.

“It’s sad to see that you have not respected the sentiments of Hindus who have been terrorised by Islam over 2,000 years. Shame on You (sic),” Kochhar tweeted on Sunday.

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 around 1,400 years ago and I sincerely apologise. I am not Islamophobic, I deeply regret my comments that have offended many,” he wrote.

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,” the hotel tweeted on Monday.

The anti-Islam tweet created a furore on the 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.”

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 have said that they would boycott the restaurant.

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