UAE issues religious tolerance law News
UAE issues religious tolerance law

[JURIST] The United Arab Emirates (UAE) [official website, in Arabic] on Monday issued Law No. 2 for 2015 to prevent discrimination and intolerance based on religious and ethnic backgrounds. The legislation bars discrimination [WAM report] based on religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, color or ethnic origin and punishes violation with between six-months and over 10 years in prison. In particular, the law, decreed by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan [official profile], aims for those who encourage hate speech and intolerance and labels them as infidels.

The law comes in the wake of growing concerns over religious extremist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) [JURIST news archive]. Last month the UAE sent a message to extremists by sentencing [NBC report] Ala’a Badr Abdullah al-Hashemi to death for her militant-style killing of American teacher Iboyla Ryan. UAE carried out [NBC report] al-Hashemi’s execution last week. In March, the Arab League including UAE formed a joint military group [JURIST report] to oppose forces that threaten its members including IS.