Riyadh considers tough penalties for inciting hatred in mosques

Riyadh considers tough penalties for inciting hatred in mosques
Saudi Arabia's Shura Council will discuss a new bill introducing tough penalties for those convicted of discrimination or hate speech in the country's mosques.
1 min read
13 June, 2016
The bill will be discussed by the Shura council this week [AFP]

A new bill in Saudi Arabia proposes a 10-year prison sentence for anyone found guilty of "discrimination" or "hate-mongering" in mosques.

The bill, jointly submitted to the Saudi Shura Council by members Latifa al-Shaalan, Abdullah al-Fifi and Haya al-Manea, also introduces tough penalties on those whose hate speech incites murder.

It includes restrictions against tribal, regional and sectarian slogans or those based on ideological and political classifications, with specific instructions on the protection of places of worship from any acts deemed discriminatory.

It will be discussed by the council this week.

If approved, the bill will criminalise discrimination by individuals and groups based on race, gender, ethnicity or sect.

According to Saudi website Arab News, the proposal aims to strengthen Islamic religious values, eradicate extremism, protect national security and prevent attacks on religious sites.

It also aims to prevent all forms of online abuse by controlling the use of social media platforms. Such networks, have been deemed a "national security threat" by Saudi officials, due to their potential for misuse - to "spread rumours and false news".