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Why it was a good decision to fire chef Atul Kochhar

Why it was a good decision to fire chef Atul Kochhar

Wednesday 13th June 2018

The Indian born London based chef was fired by a Dubai hotel after he tweeted "Islam had terrorised Hindus for 2,000 years".

The chef who is associated with a number of restaurants in the United Kingdom, including Benaras in London was reacting to an American TV programme Quantico which stars Indian actor Priyanka Chopra. A recent episode of the programme depicted a terrorist plot hatched by a group of Hindu nationalists.

On Sunday, Kochhar tweeted Priyanka Chopra; "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". This sparked a huge criticism of the chef all over social media with blogs like Halal Gems removing all content related to Kochhar's restaurants. On Wednesday, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai announced that it is terminating its contract with the chef following his comments.

Some people opposed this as he has since then apologised but I think it was a good decision by the hotel chain to fire him. What Atul attempted to do was bring Islamophobia mainstream. Atul until now was a famous and well respected chef with a considerably large following on social media. Islamophobia is already at its peak with women in hijabs being attacked around the world and frequent mob lynching of Muslims in India. What Atul did was only going to fuel further hatred of Muslims around the world.

The chef also unfairly attacked Priyanka Chopra, who is an actress and does not write the story or the script in Quantico. This goes to show how ignorant Kochhar is. Although, he has apologised to the Muslim community, there has been no public apology to the actress for the tweet.

It took Kochhar three attempts to get an acceptable apology out of his mouth. His first apology consisted of clarification that Islam is 1,400 years old and he was incorrect to say since 2,000 years. This implied he still stood by his original view that Islam had been "terrorising" Hindus but just for the past 1,400 years! .

This has hopefully been a good lesson for the chef and many others who hold such views.