In July 2015, the late H. H Sheikh Khalifa has issued Federal Decree Law No. 2 of 2015 (PDF) on Combating Discrimination and Hatred, which aims to protect everyone in the UAE and thus bring the concept of social security to a new level.
The law is intended to provide a solid legislative ground for the environment of tolerance, co-existence and acceptance. It aims to fight discrimination against individuals or groups based on religion, caste, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.
The law criminalises any acts that trigger religious hatred and/or insult religion through any form of expression, which covers speech and the written word, books, pamphlets or online media. The law prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, his prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards.
The law prohibits any entity or group established specifically to provoke religious hatred and recommends stringent punishments for groups or supporters of any organisations or individuals that are associated with hate crimes.
It also bars any kind of events such as conferences and meetings within the UAE, which are organised with the sole purpose of sowing seeds of discrimination, discord or hatred against individuals or groups.
Receiving financial support for such activities is also punishable under the new law.
The law encourages anyone involved in any activity that violates the law to submit themselves voluntarily before the authorities and has provisions allowing the courts to waive penalties in such cases.
Updated on 31 May 2022