UAE Outlaws Expressions of Religious Hate & Discrimination

The Middle East, September 2015 | Go to article overview

UAE Outlaws Expressions of Religious Hate & Discrimination


The United Arab Emirates has introduced ground breaking legislation with the issue of a new law against any form of discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin. The move is in line with the country's stance of encouraging religious tolerance in Emirati society, which is predominantly Muslim.

The new law criminalises any act that may stoke religious hatred or which insult any creed of religion, through speech, the written word, or online media. The law includes provisions for punishing anyone terming other religious groups or individuals 'infidels', or 'unbelievers'.

The law is intended to provide a sound foundation on which to continue to nurture an environment of tolerance and acceptance in the UAE and aims to safeguard all people regardless of their origin, beliefs or race, against acts that promote religious hate, bigotry and intolerance.

Speaking to * /The Middle East Online/ * a Roman Catholic priest of the collective Christian churches situated in Abu Dhabi explained that the UAE has a policy of tolerance and transparency towards allowing the celebration of mass. "Christians, Jews and Muslims are all regarded as part of a time honoured network of religious beliefs and their views are respected here", the priest confirmed. …

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