Kuwait’s ‘Islamic’ Dictatorship


Kuwait has been an official state since it’s independence from Great Britain in 1961, further back it was an official political entity since the 1922 Treaty of Uqair. Even further back during the 18th Century, it was a thriving sea port for the busy spice trade between East and West, and even before that, during the 17th Century, it started as a settlement for Bedouin tribes seeking refuge from massive seasonal drought around the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, the earliest recorded history of the State of Kuwait goes back to the year 1613.

Throughout Kuwait’s history, no religious animosity was demonstrated, no sectarian bigotry was recorded, and indeed, no religious affiliations were bragged about, until Oil created wealth, which in turn created education, which was (at the time) heavily influenced with Arabism and Pan-Arab ideals and values.

Kuwaitis thrived on their own self-disciplined tolerance and peaceful co-existence, not just with themselves, but with other people as well. When the Saudi Monarch Abdulaziz Ibn Saud and his family were overthrown by the Al Rasheed, they sought refuge in Kuwait. When Sa’adun Pasha, leader of the Muntafiq Tribe fled the Ottoman Wali in Basrah, he sought refuge in Kuwait. When the Israelis attacked Palestinian villages and kicked them out of their own homes, Kuwait offered them a temporary home, all 400’000 of them, until some of them turned rogue and bought into Saddam’s lies. The same goes for the Lebanese, the same goes for many others.

This short and brief history describes Kuwait as a haven for freedoms and liberties, and if one goes into more detail in this regard, one can clearly outline the massive tolerance of the Kuwaitis, people and government, throughout its history. All this was done without any Islamic Political Movements like HADAS and the Salafists dictating religion to the masses.

Fast-forward to the present day, and here’s what we get:

1-Women must wear the Hijab when in Parliament.
2-Women must have the authorization of their guardians in order to get a Passport (Edit: This was annulled by the Constitutional Court last week)
3-Voting for women is “Haram.”
4-Women and Men must wear admissible swimwear.
5-All Shisha (hubbly-bubbly) joints, cafes and restaurants are to close by midnight.
6-Females saluting Males is “Haram.”
7-Standing up to the National Anthem is “Haram.”
(…and much more trivial stuff I can’t recall at the moment!)

What is being enforced on us as a people is not religion, nor is it a return to religious piousness, Kuwaitis were always pious, and observed religion (all religions) in ample fairness and respect to all the inhabitants, including Kuwaiti Jews and Christians, not including the many other denominations that came as expatriate workers, who helped build Kuwait up from a mud village into a city of skyscrapers and advanced financial institutions. All lived side by side in peace and respect, for both themselves and to others, ever since the 18th Century. They never needed people like some of today’s MP’s dictating religion and claiming their God-given destiny to bring back the populace to its religious piousness. Those people do not represent me, and as far as I’m concerned, they don’t represent what Kuwait stands for. Moreover, had they truly been Kuwaitis, and had they known Kuwait’s true history of tolerance and respect, they wouldn’t have brought these complications up in the first place!

I believe in Democracy. I believe it can work in Kuwait, and I believe in free speech. I condone these values, as someone who ‘at least’ believes in equality for all. What I don’t believe in, and what I can’t condone, is a weak and fearful reactionary government that responds favorably to idle threats made by socially insignificant malcontents and religious zealots who think that, just because they can hold a group prayer in mosques, that automatically makes them leaders and protectors of the people’s religious values.

Drawing from my own ‘limited’ experience, it’s very hard to be a leader. You need charisma, intellect, objectivity, tolerance, a belief in oneself and one’s plight. Most of all, however, you need a consensus of opinion. This can only be brought about through open, frank and fair dialogue between the opposite sides.

Evoking a Fatwa that restricts personal freedoms, and then forcing the Government to implement this Fatwa, in direct conflict with the country’s constitution, is not a consensus, it’s a dictatorship! At the very least, it’s the beginnings of a state where the power of the few overrules the rights of the many, where the law of the land is the rule of men, not of the Law, where there is no protection for civil liberties, where there is no tolerance for any form of political opposition when men in power invoke religion, and where allegiances are made and created through socialization and blind allegiance.

This type of state is an Authoritarian state, it is the middle ground between Democratization and Dictatorship, and right now, we’re witnessing Kuwait moving through this middle ground towards a Dictatorship. This is a dangerous time for Kuwait’s Democracy, and I fear that MPs such as Mohamed Hayef’s (and other like-minded individuals) recent collective uproars are precursors of even more sinister things to come.

“What is past is prologue”
– William Shakespeare

5 thoughts on “Kuwait’s ‘Islamic’ Dictatorship

  1. while your post may carry some truth , it is built upon a very shaky foundation ( if there is any ) lets discuss the problems with your post
    about peaceful co-existence , you are looking at the history with rose colored glasses , if they were living that peacefully why did history record which sect was with what sheik and how he used them ?
    your points that you complain that the Islamist movement are dictating how you live weren’t even added by Islamist in the first place
    – Women must wear the Hijab when in Parliament
    i have said this many time but everyone seem to never know
    The amendment for Women to Vote was voted by Liberals and government backing , the Islamist were opposed to it , did you read it ? in the law it says Woman according to Sharia regulation , you here called Sharia into something that we don’t call it to , we don’t call for a Fatwa about the beard of a Voter ( which Muslims should grow if you asked ) because the law for male voters doesn’t contain that
    – Women must have the authorization of their guardians in order to get a Passport
    While it was removed ( duo to lack of action of all liberals MP all those years ) it wasn’t added for the love of Islamist , IT WAS IN THE ORIGINAL LAW IN 1962 AKA 60 YEARS AND NO ONE MOVED TO CHANGE IT
    there was no HAdAS or Salafi movement , or even parliament members
    hell if you ask any Liberal he would tell you it was the good old days , which lead us to Liberal not care’ing for woman rights in the first place
    -Women and Men must wear admissible swimwear : i saw something like that in the USA , does that mean that the USA is moving toward Islamic Dictatorship ?
    -All Shisha (hubbly-bubbly) joints, cafes and restaurants are to close by midnight.
    Was this passed by An Islamist Member of Parliament ? never saw that law , it was a decree by Ministry of Interior
    -Standing up to the National Anthem is “Haram.”
    The only one who didn’t Stand up was Mohamed Haif , who isn’t HADAS or SALAFI , so throwing his act with their name is an act of guilt by association , and by the way in the same Photo which showed him not standing there was a HADAS and SALAFI member who stood up for the Anthem
    Kuwait Was not pious , it is again the rose colored glasses again , but because we made everyone believe that we were Pious , we try to be Pious , and becoming Pious isn’t easy and evolve sacrificing libertines and choices which our grandfathers never did
    and there is no conflict with the constitution , when the constitution is already built to be full of loop holes and not centered around freedom ( read the FULL article 36 )
    Kuwait Isn’t in the middle ground , we moved away from it before 1922

  2. “evolve sacrificing libertines and choices which our grandfathers never did”
    Know the difference between evolving and involving.
    And look up libertine ……. don’t use words you don’t know …..

  3. “-All Shisha (hubbly-bubbly) joints, cafes and restaurants are to close by midnight. Was this passed by An Islamist Member of Parliament ? never saw that law , it was a decree by Ministry of Interior ”
    There are quite a number of points I want to respond to, but let us start with the issue above. Technically, you are correct, the Min. of Interior closed the cafes but what sparked it?
    1. Al-Watan Newspaper (who both woo and play Islamists like a violin) publish front page reports of nightclubs and booze and hookers, complete with pictures.
    2. NA Islamist furur over the pictures and reports. The storm brews and they demand Min. of Int. do something otherwise it’s the minister’s head (and he’s already on shaky grounds because of the billboards issue).
    3. Ministry of Interior goes ahead and closes all cafes. Then it gives into businessmen and media lambasting and extends time to 2 am.
    A week later Al-Watan publishes pictures of ‘Diwali’ celebration with Indians drinking…
    You do the math.

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