UAE: 200,000 dirhams fines for unauthorized "legal fatwas" issuance

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

Under the leadership of Council Speaker Saqr Ghobash, the fourth session of the first regular session of the eighteenth legislative term of the Federal National Council was held this morning.

The Federal National Council, presided over by Saqr Ghobash, approved a draft federal law pertaining to the Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwa during its fourth session of the eighteenth legislative term. The goal is to organize the council, empower it with the necessary capabilities, and enhance the national identity of the state locally and globally. The law aims to develop directives, policies, and legislation related to fatwa affairs, fostering a civilized model that responds to global developments and boosts the state's humanitarian vision.

The legislation includes punitive measures, imposing a fine between 10,000 and 200,000 dirhams for issuing unauthorized general or private legal fatwas, publishing fatwas without proper authorization, inciting societal strife, or challenging the council's fatwas publicly. Media institutions, websites, or social media users must obtain a license from the Council before publishing Sharia fatwas. Recidivism doubles the stipulated fine.

Penal articles empower the court to order the closure of facilities or institutions, block platforms, or websites violating the law, with the closure not exceeding one year. Criminal proceedings for law violations require a written request from the Council's Speaker or their authorized representative. The Speaker or their representative may attempt reconciliation for crimes, with the violator paying the minimum fine. Refusal to reconcile leads to a referral to the public prosecutor.

The law seeks to empower Emirati society with proactive fatwas, promoting global competitiveness indicators. It envisions the Emirates Council for Sharia Fatwa as a key player in shaping a positive image of fatwas globally, aligning with the state's values and identity. The legislative measures aim to maintain the integrity of fatwa issuance, ensuring compliance with national laws and regulations while fostering a dynamic and responsive approach to societal needs.

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Asma Ahmed
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