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Bahrain: Law Banning Microphones Attached to Mosques Is Enforced

(Nov. 19, 2010) On October 21, 2010, the Bahraini Ministry of Homeland Security began enforcing a royal decree issued in 1999 that bans the use of all types of microphones attached to mosques. Muslim clerics in Bahrain have been shouting through microphones to announce the Muslim prayers. The purpose of the law is to prevent […]

Egypt: Appellate Court Rejects DNA Results That Contradict Shari’a Rules of Evidence

(Oct. 20, 2010) In October 2010, a family court in Egypt rejected the DNA results in a case concerning a parental relationship. The primary reason for rejecting the test results is that DNA testing does not adhere to Islamic law, shari'a. A husband who doubted his paternal relationship with his daughter conducted a DNA test […]

United Arab Emirates: Three Arabs Accused of Human Trafficking in Dubai

(Aug. 25, 2010) On August 18, 2010, the Criminal Court of Dubai tried three individuals from Egypt, Morocco, and Lebanon for smuggling Moroccan women into Dubai to work as prostitutes. The women had been told that they would be working as house maids in the United Arab Emirates. Once the women arrived in Dubai, the […]

Saudi Arabia: Royal Decree Limits Authority to Issue Fatwas

(Aug. 25, 2010) In August 2010, King Abdu Al Aziz bin Saud issued a Royal Decree limiting the authority to issue fatwas (religious opinions concerning Islamic law) to Muslim scholars who are members of the Grant Scholars Association. The purpose of this decree is to prevent confusion generated by the issuance of fatwas by different […]

Egypt: New Family Law for Christians to Be Drafted Following Contentious Court Decision

(June 29, 2010) On June 13, 2010, the Ministry of Justice of Egypt established a committee to compose a draft law regulating marriage and divorce for Christians. The purpose of this initiative is to help alleviate the anger expressed by the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church after a Supreme Administrative Court ruling allowed divorced Christians who […]

Egypt: Bill Targets Human Rights Activists and Local NGOs

(May 18, 2010) It was reported on April 2, 2010, that a bill targeting human rights activists as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) will be discussed by the People's Assembly (lower house) of the Egyptian Parliament in its current session. The bill curtails the activities of human rights activists in Egypt. It subjects NGOs to […]

Bahrain: Shura Council Prohibits Liquor Consumption by Muslims but Allows It for Non-Muslims

(May 18, 2010) On April 30, 2010, the Committee of Foreign Affairs and National Security of the Shura Council (legislature) of Bahrain approved a new provision as an amendment to the Penal Code, Law 15-1976. The new article regulates the use of all kinds of liquor in the Kingdom. It prohibits Muslims from drinking liquor […]

Egypt: Administrative Court Prohibits Christians from Visiting Churches in Jerusalem

(Mar. 24, 2010) On February 2, 2010, the Administrative Judicial Court of Egypt, the country's adjudicative body for administrative disputes related to government contracts, tenders, and administrative questions, issued a decision supporting a ministerial resolution issued by the Minister of Interior (equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) to prevent Christians living in Egypt […]

Jordan: Bill to Amend the Family Law Adds Provision on Electronic Divorces

(Mar. 24, 2010) On February 2, 2010, Jordan's Ministry of Justice, in pending legislation to amend the law on family matters, added a new provision on divorce via cell phones, the Internet, and email messages. The new provision authorizes a husband to divorce his wife unilaterally by sending her a text message or an email. […]

Egypt: Law on Public-Private Partnership to Develop Infrastructure Being Discussed

(Jan. 4, 2010) On November 14, 2009, Egypt's Council of Ministers discussed new legislation on creating a long-term partnership agreement between the private sector and the Egyptian government. The proposed law would enable private corporations to play a larger role in developing the public infrastructure projects that in the past have been built exclusively by […]