New Delhi: According to several media reports, Facebook India executive Ankhi Das has apologized internally to her colleagues through a letter.
The expression of regret is made after several employees of the social media giant reportedly sought action against the executive for her discriminatory and disparaging comments against Muslims.
"Dear friends - The intent of my personal Facebook post was not to denigrate Islam," Ankhi Das, Facebook's policy director for India and South and Central Asia, wrote in an internal message to employees obtained by BuzzFeed News. "It was to reflect my deep belief in celebrating feminism and civic participation. I value all perspectives I have heard over the past days about how the post was received and as a result I have deleted the post. I genuinely regret any hurt it may have caused, including to my Muslim colleagues in the company," Ankhi Das said in her letter as reported by Huffington Post.
However, Das did not comment directly on a Wall Street Journal story earlier this month that reported that she had shielded T. Raja Singh, a member of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and at least three other Hindu nationalists, from punishment for violating Facebook's hate speech rules, telling staffers that doing so would be bad for Facebook's business in India. Singh, a BJP politician from the Indian state of Telangana, is known for anti-Muslim hate speech. In posts on Facebook, he reportedly called for Muslims to be slaughtered, for Rohingya Muslim immigrants to be shot, and mosques to be razed.
In comments on Das's post, some Muslim Facebook employees pushed back and called for Facebook to do better.
"Thank you for acknowledging that the post was hurtful to the Muslim community. It is a first step in the right direction," one person said. "As a company, we now need to do an honest reflection of hate speech and Islamophobia against Muslims on our platform. In a market where public figures like T. Raja Singh engage in blatant hate speech, as well as incites [sic] violence, against the Muslim community, we need to do more to protect the vulnerable." The person also demanded that Facebook designate the Hindu supremacist organization Bajrang Dal, and others like it, as "dangerous," which can lead to organizations and individuals being kicked off Facebook platforms.