KHALEEJ TIMES, Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 | Safar 26, 1439
New UAE draft law bans unauthorised religious activities
The Federal National Council has passed a new draft law imposing fines and jail
term on anyone holding religious lectures and lessons or memorisation of the
Holy Quran gatherings without approval.
The new draft law to the effect was passed on Tuesday.
A prison sentence and/or a fine will be handed to anyone in the UAE who holds
religious lectures and lessons, religious social gatherings or memorisation of
the Holy Quran, without authority's approval.
The new law also prohibits anyone from appointing a person to work, starting
religious libraries and collecting donations or aid, without prior approval from
the General Authority of the Islamic Affairs and Endowments.
Those who do not abide by the new law, will face up to three months in prison or
face a fine of up to Dh5,000.
Presided by FNC speaker, Dr Amal Al Qubaisi, the session also focused heavily on
the rules and regulations for UAE mosques.
The FNC approved a draft federal law on the regulation and care of mosques.
FNC members stressed that only qualified employees must work in mosques, and the
bill prohibits any employees from working in mosques, who belong to unlawful
groups or organisations, practicing prohibited political or organisational
activities, preaching without a license or approval, issues fatwas or teaching
the Holy Quran outside mosques.
There is a fine between Dh20,000-Dh50,000 and/or a minimum of three months
prison sentence for whoever breaches the security and sanctity of the mosque.
A fine of up to Dh5,000 and/or three months prison sentence was also announced
for whoever begs at mosques, or interferes with the Imam while he is calling for
prayer or preaching.
Furthermore, the salaries of employees working at mosques was also discussed.
FNC members argued that salary regulations by the Ministry of Human Resources
should apply to all mosque employees, however, Dr Mohammed Matar Al Kaabi,
Chairman of the General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, argued that
some mosque owners happily choose to give salaries above the ministry's minimum,
which is Dh6,300.
"A mosque owner would want to pay an Imam Dh20,000, so why limit his salary to
Dh6,300?" he asked.