United Arab Emirates Issues Anti-Intolerance Law

July 20, 2015 Updated: January 2, 2016

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—The United Arab Emirates has issued new legislation aimed at combatting intolerance that outlaws actions which stoke religious hatred and discriminate based on religious or ethnic background.

The law’s introduction comes amid growing alarm among Gulf nations over the rise of militant Islamic extremists, particularly the ISIS.

The official state news agency WAM announced the law Monday following its declaration by the president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It bars discrimination based on “religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, color or ethnic origin.” It also criminalizes any action that encourages religious hatred or insults religion, and calls for punishment for labelling other religious groups as infidels or unbelievers.

Penalties include jail terms from six months to more than 10 years and fines up to 2 million dirhams ($545,000).