At the 28th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, which was held this month at the United Nations’ (UN) offices in Vienna, Austria, Saudi Arabia announced that it would begin studying new laws to criminalize racial discrimination, and religious hatred and intolerance, as well as prohibit the formation of organizations that practice racial discrimination, according to various news sources. The draft laws being explored by the Kingdom would also prohibit attacks on places of worship, insults on religions and religious beliefs, and abuse of religious sanctities.
During the conference, Dr. Abdullah Bin Fakhri Al-Ansari, an adviser to the Saudi Interior Ministry, noted that religious and race-based intolerance have become major threats to global peace and security, highlighting the rising hatred and intolerance against Muslims and Islam over the last few years. According to Saudi Gazette, he then “called on the UN and all regional and international organizations to strengthen international efforts to combat crimes against religions and condemn and prevent intolerance and discrimination.”
In a report by Arab News, Dr. Al-Ansari also pointed to the need for stronger legal frameworks with regards to cyberspace, which he explained has become a breeding ground for violent, supremist, and extremist ideologies and propaganda. Saudi Arabia’s delegation joined representatives from “Japan, Australia, Austria, Colombia, and Mexico in presenting four draft resolutions on technical assistance to implement international conventions against terrorism, sexual exploitation, abuse of children, and cybercrime.”