UAE announces loosening of Islamic laws for personal freedom


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The United Arab Emirates on Saturday announced a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws, calling for unmarried couples to ban alcohol, loosening alcohol restrictions and criminalizing so-called “honor killing”. Permission to make.

The expansion of personal liberty reflects the changing profile of a country that, despite its Islamic legal code, has sought to bill itself as a Western destination for tourists, fortune-seekers and businesses that have previously had foreigners Has triggered court cases against and resentment in their home countries.

The reforms are intended to boost the country’s economic and social reputation and “strengthen the UAE’s principles of tolerance”, said the state-run WAM news agency, which offered only minimal details in the surprise weekend announcement. The government’s decree was behind the massive change in the state-run newspaper The National, which did not cite its source.

The move follows a landmark US-brocade deal to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel, which is expected to bring an influx of Israeli tourists and investment. It also comes as the skyscraper gets ready to host the Dubai World Expo. The high-frequency event, expected to bring commercial activity to the country and a crowd of around 25 million visitors, was scheduled for October, but was pushed back a year due to an epidemic of coronavirus virus.

The National said the changes would take effect immediately, which also reflected the Emirates ‘rulers’ efforts to keep pace with the rapidly changing society at home.

“I could not be happier with these new laws, which are progressive and active,” said Imrati filmmaker Abdullah Al Kabi. Whose art has dealt with taboo topics such as gay love and gender identity.

“2020 has been a difficult and transformative year for the United Arab Emirates,” he said.

Changes include scraping penalties for alcohol consumption, sale and possession for 21 and more. Although wine and beer is widely available in bars and clubs in the spectacular coastal cities of the UAE, individuals require a government-issued license to purchase, transport, or drink alcohol in their homes. The new rule will allow Muslims who are prohibited from obtaining a license to drink alcoholic beverages independently.

Another amendment allows for “cohabitation of unmarried couples”, which has long been a crime in the United Arab Emirates. The authority, particularly in Dubai’s more freewheeling financial center, often looked the other way when foreigners were exposed, but the threat of punishment still remained. Suicide attempts, prohibited in Islamic law, would also be ruthless, the National Report states.

The government said to better “protect the rights of women”, it would get rid of laws protecting against “honor crimes”, a widely criticized tribal practice in which a male relative would defame a family May be prosecuted for assaulting a woman seen as. The punishment for a crime committed to erase a woman’s “shame”, disregard or disregard religious and cultural strictures will now be the same for any other form of assault.

In a country where the number of citizens increases from about nine to one, the amendment would allow foreigners to avoid Islamic Sharia courts on issues such as marriage, divorce and inheritance.

The declaration states that there is nothing of the other behavior that insults local customs that have jailed foreigners in the past, such as homosexuality, cross-dressing and public displays of affection.

Traditional Islamic values ​​are strong in the union of seven desert sheikhs. Nevertheless, Middle East researcher Annel Sheleen at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft wrote on Twitter that “without much popular resistance” too much change could occur as the population of citizens, especially in the main cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi . , Is very small. “

About 1 million Emirates in the UAE, a hereditary-ruled country, have long criticized the suppression of dissent, which is close to the government line. Political parties and labor unions are illegal.

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