Indian opposition party leader Rahul Gandhi addresses packed UAE stadium

The Dubai International Cricket Stadium, where the Indian National Congress politician spoke to non-resident Indians (NRIs), reached its crowd capacity an hour before the event was due to start. (Photo: Indian overseas conference)
Updated 12 January 2019
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Indian opposition party leader Rahul Gandhi addresses packed UAE stadium

  • Gandhi was speaking in the same stadium where India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the community during a visit in 2015
  • Earlier on Friday, Gandhi was greeted by leading UAE government officials, visited labor camps to meet Indian workers and held talks with members of the Indian business community

DUBAI: Around 15,000 supporters of Rahul Gandhi, the president of India’s leading opposition party, on Friday were turned away from a packed rally in the UAE, ahead of his address to thousands of expatriates.
The Dubai International Cricket Stadium, where the Indian National Congress politician spoke to non-resident Indians (NRIs), reached its crowd capacity an hour before the event was due to start.
Stadium officials were forced to turn away disappointed followers of the party leader, many of whom had traveled long distances from cities throughout the UAE to hear Gandhi speak.
Those who secured a seat inside the venue cheered and waved banners during Gandhi’s address, which lasted for more than 40 minutes.
With elections due to take place in India later this year, Gandhi spoke of the important role he hoped NRIs could play in shaping India’s future.
Gandhi said: “I am so proud of NRIs living in the UAE, and their major contribution to the development of this beautiful country. Now, I want you to play the same role in developing your own homeland.”
He spoke of India’s “great religions and cultures,” and the need for communities to work together to tackle key economic challenges, such as unemployment and the agricultural sector. He also promised the crowd that when his party gets into power, it will designate special seats in the upper Parliament for NRIs.
Gandhi was speaking in the same stadium where India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the community during a visit in 2015.
Earlier on Friday, Gandhi was greeted by leading UAE government officials, visited labor camps to meet Indian workers and held talks with members of the Indian business community. He is also scheduled to visit the UAE capital Abu Dhabi.


Preachers of Hate: Arab News launches series to expose hate-mongers from all religions

Updated 33 min 8 sec ago
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Preachers of Hate: Arab News launches series to expose hate-mongers from all religions

  • Daesh may be defeated, but the bigoted ideas that fueled their extremism live on
  • Campaign could not be more timely, with a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Christchurch attacks

RIYADH: Dozens of Daesh militants emerged from tunnels to surrender to Kurdish-led forces in eastern Syria on Sunday, a day after their “caliphate” was declared defeated.

Men filed out of the battered Daesh encampment in the riverside village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks. “They are fighters who came out of tunnels and surrendered today,” Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Jiaker Amed said. “Some others could still be hiding inside.”

World leaders hail Saturday’s capture of the last shred of land controlled by Daesh in Syria, but the top foreign affairs official for the semi-autonomous Kurdish region warned that Daesh captives still posed a threat.

“There are thousands of fighters, children and women and from 54 countries, not including Iraqis and Syrians, who are a serious burden and danger for us and for the international community,” Abdel Karim Omar said. “Numbers increased massively during the last 20 days of the Baghouz operation.”

 While the terrorists have a suffered a defeat, the pernicious ideologies that drive them, and the hate speech that fuels those ideologies, live on. For that reason Arab News today launches Preachers of Hate — a weekly series, published in print and online, in which we profile, contextualize and analyze extremist preachers from all religions, backgrounds and nationalities.



In the coming weeks, our subjects will include the Saudi cleric Safar Al-Hawali, the Egyptian preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the American-Israeli rabbi Meir Kahane, the Yemeni militia leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, and the US pastor Terry Jones, among others.

The series begins today with an investigation into the background of Brenton Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist who shot dead 50 people in a terrorist attack 10 days ago on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Tarrant is not just a terrorist, but is himself a Preacher of Hate, author of a ranting manifesto that attempts to justify his behavior. How did a shy, quiet boy from rural New South Wales turn into a hate-filled gunman intent on killing Muslims? The answers may surprise you.

Our series could not be more timely — anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK have soared by almost 600 percent since the Christchurch attack, it was revealed on Sunday.

The charity Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents, said almost all of the increase comprised “language, symbols or actions linked to the Christchurch attacks.”

“Cases included people making gestures of pointing a pistol at Muslim women and comments about British Muslims and an association with actions taken by the terrorist in New Zealand,” the charity said.

“The spike shows a troubling rise after Muslims were murdered in New Zealand,” said Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA. “Figures have risen over 590 percent since New Zealand in comparison to the week just before the attack.