On March 27, an official statement of the woman who was allegedly stopped by the British manager of an Indian restaurant in Bahrain was released by Only Facts India’s Vijay Patel.
In the video statement, the woman, Mariam Naji, said, “Hello, first of all, I am very sad about the news and the rumours. Actually, the man wasn’t Indian. He was a British guy, and trust me, I can recognize Indian guys. So please stop doing that. Please, please stop doing that. I am not even happy about what I saw. So, I sat with the Indian owner. He was very kind to us. He apologized to us for what had happened. So, we closed the case, and this is it. This is the truth. Don’t even listen to the news. You have to know the true story. You can even see I am not wearing a hijab, but my friend was wearing the Hijab. Because of that, I made a video.”
This is Mariam who went to an Indian restaurant with her friend in Bahrain. They were stopped by a British manager, not by the Indian manager.— Vijay Patel🇮🇳 (@vijaygajera) March 27, 2022
I have spoken to her for @OnlyFactIndia and here is her official statement. Please listen and share the truth. pic.twitter.com/G5eVp5nmdO
Naji also lashed out at anti-Hindu professor Ashok Swain for his misleading tweet where he identified the manager as a Hindu. She said, “The British Manager named Llyod and I want to mention that I’m Muslim and I don’t like racism because God’s land is big. It can handle all of us. I hope we live in peace pls stop doing this I told you he’s British & I can identify the person if he is an Indian or not.”
The British Manager named Llyod and I want to mention that im muslim and I don’t like racism because God’s land is big. It can handle all of us. I hope we live in peace pls stop doing this I told you he’s British &I can identify the person if he is an Indian or not— Mariam naji 👁🇧🇭 (@Mariam1597) March 27, 2022
The Bahrain Indian restaurant controversy
On Sunday, it was reported that an Indian restaurant, Lanterns, owned by a person of Indian origin, was shut down by the authorities of Muslim-majority Bahrain for allegedly stopping a woman from entering the premises as she was wearing a hijab.
Following the controversy, the restaurant issued an apology and acknowledged the involvement of the manager in the controversy. The restaurant said, “Everyone is welcome to Lanterns as how it has been for more than 35 years that we have been serving all nationalities in the beautiful kingdom of Bahrain. Lanterns is a place for everyone to come enjoy with their families and feel at home. In this instance, a mistake has been made by a manager who is now being suspended as this does not represent who we are.”
Several people used the controversy as an opportunity to target Hindus and the Indian community at large. Social media user @Mariam1597, who had earlier posted about the incident from her Twitter account on March 26, informed that the manager was British and not Indian. She posted this after some trolls were seen blaming the incident on “Hindu right-wing”.
It is noteworthy that Mariam was not the one who was stopped from entering, but it was her friend who was wearing Hijab. She was not stopped by any Indian employee but by the manager, who was British.