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Dhs500,000 fine for insulting Islamic scholar on WhatsApp in Dubai.

"She would send me messages on Whatsapp using words like, tyrannous, wicked and forger" The uncle testified

A woman has been fined Dhs500,000 for cursing her uncle along with a historic Muslim scholar in what is believed to be the first sentence handed down under new hate crime laws.

The Emirati, 53, used hateful language in an angry exchange with the 60-year-old man on Whatsapp, the Judge Fahad Al Shamsi determined.

Prosecutors say her sectarian comments amounted to a breach of new laws intended to stop the spread of hate.

In the messages, she allegedly cursed her uncle as "tyrannous, wicked and a forger".

She also allegedly insulted the scholar Yazid bin Muawiya, who lived 1,400 years ago and was the second Caliph of the Umayyad Caliphate.

Such comments are illegal under recently introduced hate crime laws.

The entire row was not detailed in court but it is known that while the relatives are both Muslims, they are from different sects.

Dubai Court of First Instance was told the woman, a teacher, had a row with her uncle.

The uncle testified: "She would send me messages on Whatsapp using words like, tyrannous, wicked and forger."

He said the text exchange began in November last year and lasted until January 10, when he went to police. "She cursed me and Yazid in a message," he added. The woman admitted the charges.

In her defence, she claimed at an earlier hearing that she had supported her uncle financially for 29 years, but when she developed cancer, he abandoned her.

"He didn't see or look after me", she said. "And now he is fighting me over a will. He deserved what I said to him. A person who sends his niece to court is not a man."

The hate crime law carries a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a fine of up to Dhs1million.

The verdict can be appealed.

ali.shouk@7days.ae

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Apr 28, 2016
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