The United Arab Emirates issued new legislation aimed at combatting intolerance on Monday, outlawing actions that stoke religious hatred and discriminate based on religious or ethnic background. The law’s introduction comes amid growing alarm in the Emirates and other oil-rich Gulf Arab states over the rise of militant extremists,
particularly the Islamic State group. The legislation bars discrimination based on “religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, color or ethnic origin,” according to official state news agency WAM. It also criminalizes any action that encourages religious hatred or insults religion, and calls for punishing those who label other religious groups as infidels or unbelievers. “The law is intended to provide a sound foundation for the environment of tolerance, broadmindedness and acceptance in the UAE,” the report said.