Last week, an Indian restaurant, Lanterns, in Bahrain’s Adliya landed in controversy after it was closed down by the authorities over a veiled woman allegedly being denied entry at the restaurant. Addressing the issue, the restaurant said in an Instagram post, “mistake has been made by a manager who has been suspended and this doesn’t represent who we are.” Soon after, several social media users shared posts claiming that the suspended manager was of Indian origin. Newschecker found the claim to be false.
The video was first posted online by one Mariam Naji, in which she claimed that her friend was denied entry at ‘Lanterns’ for wearing a veil. Naji tweeted, “ although I am not veiled, but my friends and family are veiled and it hurts in my mind when the worker at the door refused to enter my friend because of her veil. It is true that the Lanterns restaurant is in two parts, a bar section and isolated from the restaurant, and the second section is the restaurant that is supposed to forbid it, but it goes through because it hurts me.”
Several Twitter users claimed that the manager, who was suspended by Lanterns for allegedly refusing entry to a veiled woman, is from Karnataka “so it’s not surprising at all… “ in an attempt to link it to the recent Hijab row in Karnataka.
Posts claiming that the manager was of Indian origin are doing the rounds on Facebook as well.
Several news outlets also reported that the manager belongs to India. Times Of India stated in an report, “The restaurant said it regretted the mistake made by the duty manager, which several media reports stated is an Indian, and that he has been suspended from service.”
Deccan Herald reported, “According to other media reports, it was a manager of Indian origin who had denied entry to a woman in a veil.”
Independent also claimed, “An Indian duty manager in the restaurant Lantern in Bahrain’s Adliya area allegedly denied entry to a woman in veil, leading to the establishment posting an apology on social media.”
Following the controversy, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) has initiated a probe into the matter and stated, “all tourism outlets to comply with regulations and avoid enforcing policies that violate the laws of the Kingdom.”
“We reject all actions that discriminate against people, especially regarding their national identity,” the BTEA said in a statement. The restaurant, called Lanterns and located in the Adliya locality of Bahrain’s capital Manama, was closed in compliance with”Decree Law No 15 of 1986, which regulates the tourism outlets including restaurants and hotels.”
Addressing the issue, Lanterns said in an Instagram post, “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.”
To verify the veracity of the claim that an Indian manager barred a veiled woman from entering restaurant in Bahrain, Newschecker scanned through the comment sections of the posts associated with the calim, and found a tweet by Naji herself clarifying that the manager was a Britisher and not an Indian. “The owner of the restaurant is of Indian origin and he did not like the behavior of the (British) worker who prevented us, so he gave me a personal apology and showed me how upset he was,” she replied to Twitter user ‘@ajay43’
We looked up the Twitter account of Naji where she had posted, “The truth is the manager is British not indian.” “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,” Naji added.
Continuing the investigation, we looked up keywords ‘Llyod lanterns restaurant Bahrain’ on Google and found link to Llyod Gallon’s profile on a website called ‘Gulf Talent.’
Newschecker has reached out to Lanterns on the issue. Their response is awaited.
Naji, who had initially highlighted the issue, herself clarified that the manager was a British national. The viral claims about the manager being an Indian national are untrue.
Result: Misleading Content/Partly False
Twitter Account Of Mariam Naji
(This article was originally published in Newschecker Tamil.)
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