Dubai: The UAE has established a track record of coexistence, and over the course of time, has implemented a number of rules and regulations to ensure religious and cultural tolerance for all.
There are more than 200 nationalities living in the country, and according to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, the UAE's total population (nationals and expatriate residents) was 9,304,277 in 2017 as compared to 9,121,167 in 2016.
In line with the UAE’s policy of inclusion, 2019 has also been the ‘Year of Tolerance’ by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The move highlights the UAE as a global capital for tolerance, via its various legislative and policy-oriented goals to enhance the role of the country in instilling the values of co-existence and peace in local, regional and international communities.
“Instilling values of tolerance carries on Shaikh Zayed’s legacy and teachings,” Shaikh Khalifa said.
All residents are governed by a legal system that protects their beliefs, respects their customs and traditions, and guarantees them the freedom to practice their faith in a fair and transparent environment.
In order to achieve the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, the Federal Public Prosecutor Office has launched an awareness campaign on the Anti-Discrimination and Hatred Act under Federal Law No. 2 of 2015.
According to the Act, residents should refrain from discriminating against people for reasons based on their religion, doctrine, caste, race, colour, or ethnic origin.
Insulting God, his prophets, holy books, cemeteries or houses of worship shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not less than five years and a fine between Dh250,000 and Dh2 million.
Inciting hate verbally or by any other means shall be sentenced to imprisonment for no less than five years and to a fine between Dh500,000 and Dh1 m.
Creating groups to promote hate
Any person who establishes, sets up, organizes or manages with the intention to offend religions, or provoke discrimination or hate speech shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not less than ten years.
Any person who misuses religion to call individuals or groups as infidels shall be sentenced to temporary imprisonment.
Any person hands over or receives funds to support such groups or organisations can be jailed and face a fine from Dh250,000 and up to Dh1 m.
According to Article 19, if a person voluntary turns themselves in to authorities, they will be exempted from any penalties.