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Sharjah Rejects False Allegations Regarding Call to Prayer Modifications

Sharjah Government Media Bureau urges the public to seek information from official sources

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Pavitra Shetty

Published on March 28, 2024, 15:23:34

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Authorities Sharjah denied circulating rumours suggesting modifications azan

Authorities in Sharjah have denied circulating rumours suggesting modifications to the azan (call to prayer), emphasising the need for accuracy and credibility while sharing information.

The Sharjah Government Media Office released a statement, urging individuals to prioritise fact-checking and avoid spreading unsubstantiated claims. People are asked to verify the sources before sharing any information, with the authorities affirming that the recent allegations on the changes to the call to prayer in Sharjah as entirely untrue and contradictory to the emirate's religious values.

UAE enforces stringent laws against the propagation of rumours and false news, with penalties including a minimum of one year in jail and fines of Dh100,000.
Spreading rumours, particularly on social media, is strictly prohibited under UAE's cybercrime laws. Those who violate the law can face severe penalties, including imprisonment and hefty fines.

As outlined in a previous report, Article 29 of Federal Law Number 5 of 2012 delineates punishments for spreading rumours with malicious intent, while Article 9 addresses the misuse of IP addresses.

The rapid dissemination of news through social media often disregards its credibility, leading to the propagation of false information and fabricated stories. The UAE recognises this challenge and has taken proactive measures to combat it.

The enactment of Federal Decree-Law No. 34/2021 and Federal Decree-Law No. 31/2021 underscores the government's commitment to combat rumours and cybercrimes.

Article 43 of the Cyber Law stipulates penalties for individuals who utilise information networks or technology to disseminate false events or insults, ranging from detention to fines of up to Dh500,000.

Article 52 of Federal Decree-Law No. 34/2021 targets the dissemination of false information that disrupts public peace or threatens public interest. Offenders face detention and fines starting from Dh100,000, with more severe penalties for cases involving epidemics, crises, or emergencies.

The Media Office statement shows Sharjah's government's unwavering dedication to religious principles, considering them paramount and non-negotiable as the authorities spoke about the significance of fostering respect, peaceful coexistence, and tolerance toward diverse faiths and sects within society.

(The writer is a legal associate at Dubai-based NYK Law Firm)

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