UAE toughens liability for unauthorized religious events

The new bill being considered by the government of the Emirates defines fines and prison sentences for violating the rules for conducting religious events.

The new UAE bill provides for serious fines and imprisonment for all who hold religious meetings, teachings or collective sermons of the Holy Quran without approval, the draft also proposes employment criteria for mosque ministers.

The new law also prohibits hiring people for a religious organization and collecting donations without the prior approval of the General Directorate of Islamic Affairs and Donations.

All those who violate the new law face imprisonment for three months or a fine of up to AED 5,000.

The Federal National Council has also largely focused on the rules and regulations governing the activities of UAE mosques.

FTS members emphasized that only qualified employees should work in mosques, the bill prohibits any employee from preaching or interpreting the Holy Quran outside the mosque without approval.

Violations of the security and sanctity of the mosque will be fined between 20,000 and 50,000 dirhams and / or prosecuted for at least three months in prison.

The bill also provides for a fine of up to AED 5,000 and / or a three-month jail sentence for those who ask alms in mosques or interfere with the imam when he calls for prayer or sermon.

In addition, lawmakers discussed the salaries of employees of mosques. According to members of the Federal Tax Service, the salary of the Ministry of Human Resources Development should be applied to all mosque workers, the amount of which is 6300 dirhams. This was objected by Dr. Mohammed Matar Al-Qa'abi, chairman of the General Directorate for Islamic Affairs and Donations, arguing that some mosque owners were willing to pay higher salaries.

"The owner of the mosque wants to pay the imam 20,000 dirhams, so why limit his salary to 6300 dirhams?" he wondered.