New Anti-Discrimination Law- A blow to freedom of speech?

President Sheikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi just enacted a new law making it a crime to discriminate on the basis of “religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, color or ethnic origin.” The law prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, his prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship. The new law criminalizes any act that may stoke religious hatred or insult religion through any kind of action such as delivering a speech, writing a word, publishing a book, distributing pamphlets or circulating information online. The law also includes punishments for those who label other individuals or religious groups as infidels or non-believers.

Freedom of speech is a pre-requisite for a good and advancing society. For an atheist and for people with not so deep religious way of thinking this is obvious. However, when it comes to hardcore believers, it is questionable or they completely disagree with this. For this reason, this is where I start.

We all believe that God is the most virtuous, the most pious, the most benevolent and the most merciful. Whatever is our religion, we are told many stories from our religious text and naturally, people believe in this kind of stories to varying extents. However, there are stories in these holy books that portray God as one who is cruel and torturing "non-believers". If the religious people truly believe in these stories, then trust me, they are not cherishing a truly virtuous, pious or merciful concept of God. They are really mocking God with an unethical concept of God. It is like saying "He is supposed to be very intelligent, but he is a real stupid". 

Additionally, God is always close to us, and being the most pious and virtuous, directing us with our moral and rational in accordance with "one's level of thinking". However, people listen to them at varying levels and some reject them all together; especially the deeply "religious" ones, who always accept their religion even if their morale speaks otherwise. 

Freedom of speech is very essential. Of course, there will be the good and the bad and the ugly. We can reject the bad and the ugly, but there is hope for the good to see the light. It is pretty much like Music. How can good songs be produced if one is not allowed to sing? Let us allow them to sing, and let us listen to (only) the good songs.

I believe that there is the most discrimination among the Muslim communities- one sect of Muslim is not allowed to enter into other sects Mosque. One kills the other and non-Muslims, they don’t even have a chance. Unfortunately, the source of this discrimination is the Koran itself.  So...I wonder if they can read or publish Koran itself in accordance with this new Law!

Thanks and I hope you enjoyed going through these.

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