The actual percentage of Kuwaiti Shiites is 40 percent. In this context, we say many members of trib

"THE US State Department recently issued its annual report related to religious freedom in the world including Kuwait," columnist Faraj Al-Khoddhary wrote for Al-Dar daily Monday. "As per the practices of the Kuwaiti government in this regard, I would like to mention some points related to the Kuwaiti Shiite sect. The report in question says the Sunnis in Kuwait represent about 70 percent of the population and the rest are Shiites.

"However, the confirmed information shows the Kuwaiti government has 'a secret percentage' about the number of the Shiites in Kuwait which exceeds 30 percent.
"In other words, the actual percentage of Kuwaiti Shiites is 40 percent. In this context, we say many members of tribes conceal their belonging to the Shiite sect due to certain considerations and reasons and they are believed to be in thousands.

"Meanwhile, the US State Department has cited some reports indicating many Shiite government employees face difficulties when it comes to promotions from one grade to another particularly in certain government authorities. The report added some leading positions are forbidden for the Shiites even if they are efficient to take over these posts because these posts are awarded only to Sunnis. In spite of the above, it mentions of no sectarian distinction in Kuwait.

"Meanwhile, the reports added the government has imposed some restrictions on religious practices, hinting many Shiites are upset over the dearth of Shiite mosques in Kuwait and this can be attributed to slow government measures to agree to the construction of new Shiite mosques in the country. At the moment there are 35 Shiite mosques in the country compared to more than 1,100 Sunni mosques. In this connection we say the government since 2001 has given its consent for the construction of only six new Shiite mosques.

"However, my information shows the number of Sunni mosques exceed the above mentioned number. This happened although some of these mosques have been exploited to create terrorist cells such as the Peninsula Lions and the so-called Camp Arifjan cell. Some of these mosques recruit the youth and send them to Iraq to kill the Shiites.
"Meanwhile, the report observes that the Kuwaiti Shiites who want to work as imams or clerics must study the religious teachings in Iraq or Iran and sometimes Syria, simply because the Shiite curricula are few at the Kuwait University's Faculty of Sharia.

Also:
"There were many observations which were made during the reign of the late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem from 1950 to 1965 that may call for attention," Kuwaiti columnist and academician Dr Ghanim Al-Najjar wrote for Aljarida daily Monday.
"It says taking over of the political power in Kuwait by the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem was appropriate. In this context, we elucidate his reign began post World War II and this coincided with the recession of the traditional imperialistic regime and the appearance of two superpowers - the United States of America and the then Soviet Union.

"Not just that, the post World War II era, could be deemed as the era of liberation from imperialism and the symbols of Non-Alignment Movement such as Jamal AbduNasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Ahmed Sukarno of Indonesia and Joseph Bros Tito of Yugoslavia.
"Apart from the above, it would not be possible to ignore radical changes which occurred in the Middle East during that time such as the Egyptian Revolution of July 1952 which toppled the then royal regime followed by a clash between leaders of the said revolution and the West particularly following the nationalization of the Suez Canal in Egypt and the British, French and Israeli aggression on Egypt in the wake of this development.

"Apart from the above, the region witnessed the July 1958 Revolution in Iraq led by AbdulKariam Qassem. This period witnessed the taking over of political power in Iran by Mohammad Musaddaq who was also involved in a direct clash with the West following his decision to nationalize the Iranian oil.
"Amid the above, the late Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem began his reign. In this context, we say Abdullah Al-Salem was nominated to take over the political power in Kuwait in 1921, but he preferred to stay out of politics for 29 years. Such being the case, we suggest Abdullah Al-Salem took over the political power in due course when the country was in need of a man of his caliber.


"The reactions shown towards the Fatwa which was issued recently by the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs over religious costume in response to a question in this connection by MP Mohammed Hayef, shows our deficit in dealing with various issues," columnist Nasser Al-Abdali wrote for Al-Qabas daily Monday.
"In this context, we say some of us say we are a Civil State and the Constitution represents its sole terms of reference. However, this logic goes well if the reactivation of the constitutional texts favors the nation, otherwise we have to resort to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to get the necessary Fatwas (edicts) to deal with certain issues. In this context, we recall how the concerned authorities in the country sought the Ministry's Fatwa over granting the Kuwaiti women their political rights.

"However, the manner followed by us in dealing with the fatwa in question shows we don't respect the constitutional and legal texts. In other words, we construe the Fatwas and legal opinions in a manner that they keep in line with our own purposes and caprices and this phenomenon can be perceived in most Third World countries.
"Such being the case, these countries due to its non-respect for laws, have failed to maintain its national fabric. In this context, we say the civilized states only respect the laws even if they contain some controversial issues. In other words, the violation of laws is something confined only to the backward countries.
"Hence, what happened in Kuwait - arguments over the Fatwa in question - shows we still are a part and parcel of the backward camp."


"I read a news report saying the Kuwaiti Embassy in Yemen has refused to issue a travel document to a Kuwaiti citizen identified only as Al-Shimmari which was required by him to leave Yemen for Kuwait provided the embassy undertakes to produce Al-Shimmari for court sessions in Yemen," columnist and attorney Rashed Al-Rada'an wrote for Al-Watan Arabic daily Monday.
"This news has been attributed to Kuwait's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and appeared on electronic sites and various media and has not been denied by official sources. This reflects not only our internal blunders but also external.

"Not the question is: Do you hear that an Arab or foreign embassy ever undertaking to produce its citizen in the court of a foreign country? And does the Kuwaiti embassy reserves the right to undertake to produce one of its citizens in Yemeni courts?
"Not just that, what will happen if the Kuwaiti embassy in Sana'a issues a travel document to the Kuwaiti citizen and leave the issue of allowing him or not allowing him to leave Yemen in the hands of the concerned Yemeni security authorities, given the fact this is applicable in all countries of the world including Kuwait?
"As a matter of fact, the statement which has been attributed to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this connection shows the Kuwaiti embassy in Yemen moved to help the Kuwaiti citizen Al-Shimmari only after the media shed every possible light on the issue.
"In this connection also, we have also noted how attorney Al-Humaidi Al-Subaiei who is defending Al-Shimmari threatened to sue the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for failing to deal with the Al-Shimmari case.


"The Arab nation is burning - Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen - while the rest of the countries are facing the risk of sedition any time," columnist Mutlaq Al-Ajmi wrote for Awan daily Monday.
"Although the Arab nation can be seen as expert in promoting turmoil and seditions, it can't get rid of the same for a low price. We are a nation that always likes to destroy itself and we are always ready to make sacrifices of our homelands for the sake of our tribal, clannish and sectarian interests.
"But the big question is: Are we an advanced, rational, humane, creative, productive and good nation? Or are we a backward, stupid, ignorant, inhumane, uncreative and unproductive nation? I think we are a stupid and backward nation because we don't feel surprised when one liar and a stupid person claiming we are advanced, rational, believers, human and creative.
"How can we achieve advancement when we live in 'hell'? Not just that, we live in a region which is full of civil wars and boasts of killers based on sect. This is a region which currently constitutes a source of concern for all countries throughout the world."


"It has become very common to find beggars roaming near mosques in the traditional costume, especially women who cover their faces with veils. It is unfortunate that the authorities do not punish those who violate residential laws, as it is this leniency that allows the violators to beg freely", wrote Talal Al-Saeed for Al-Seyassah daily.
"These people, instead of being apprehended, are encouraged to enter the country with visas and residence permits. Many wonder whether Kuwaiti people have taken to begging, as these beggars wear our traditional attire. It is shocking to note that the women freely enter houses to beg for money. Visa trading needs to be eradicated if situations such as these are to be avoided."


"Finally, the government has decided to re-invigorate the development proposal, which was suspended for years due to political conflicts based on personal interests. However, I am not thrilled about strict conditions the government has imposed on the MPs constitutional rights, Falah Al-Sha'alani wrote for Alam Al-Youm.
"It seems the government is planning to rip the check and balance tool off the MPs rights, which will definitely cause lawmakers to lose the opportunity of airing their views freely.
"Government must not be surprised if any MP decides to submit grilling requests against any of its team members in this regard. I suppose check and balance tool is not exaggerated in anyway, neither is it against development, as there will be no development without surveillance".


"Anyone who closely follows news articles published about applied education and training will notice that these news stories speak about an exaggeration of facts at the concerned authority", wrote Dr. Bader Nadir Al-Khodhari for Al-Anba daily.
"The exaggerated claims while writing these stories may be unintentional, but it is stories like these that give us an insight into the events that occur among the teaching staff at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET). Many stories also speak about the ideal method for appointing deans at new faculties in the authority.
"It is unfortunate that the Director of the PAAET has to singlehandedly be responsible for selecting competent persons. We need to have certain criteria in place when appointing deans such as the amount of experience, relations with the rest of the staff and so on."


"The current ruling of the Constitutional Court to declare Khaled Al-Adwah as an MP is a historical step as it shows that justice is still prevalent in the country today", wrote Hammad Al-Asaidan for Arrouiah daily.
"The figures from the election showed that Al-Adwah had led voting polls and was mistakenly ruled out. I firmly believe that the government did not take enough steps to ensure transparency during vote-counting.
"Winning a seat in the parliament means the people who voted for the MP now have someone with whom they can discuss their concerns. It is this lawmaker they turn to for solutions to their troubles."


"The State of Kuwait is taking definition of grilling to a different level, even though HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed addressed the matter recently, Bader Bourisly wrote for Al-Nahar daily.
"We observe the MPs pro-grilling attitude in statements they issue via television, newspapers and other channels of communication. Seemingly our MPs are missing the meaning of grilling, and they are oblivious of the right time to submit grilling requests.
"Some MPs are planning vengeance against specific ministers, immediately after the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad discussed with them to cool the political situation. However, it seems the talk rather encouraged the MPs to go ahead with their plans, without considering the negative impact such retribution may have on public interests".


"HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah announced his vision to transform the country into a financial and commercial hub in the region in 2006," Ali Mohammed Al-Fairouz wrote for Al-Rai daily.
"Besides the enactment of related draft bills in the Parliament, the realization of this vision requires coordinated efforts and sacrifice among the people.  This will take the country back to its original position as a leader in the region.
"However, the development process has been paralyzed due to the constant political wrangling between the legislature and executive.  Many questions on how Kuwait can regain its leading status in the region have been left unanswered.  The government should immediately take the necessary steps to actualize this vision, especially since the country has been lagging behind its neighbors."


"Whoever has been following the government work program will surely think that the authorities have accumulated a large number of projects and forwarded them from one government to the other. Where are the projects that were undertaken by six previous governments?" wrote Meshref Aqab for Al-Shahid daily. 
"It looks as though the state of the environment is no longer important and that the Mishref disaster has been forgotten as both these issues have been excluded from the list of priorities. The government only devotes attention to a problem long enough to form a committee to investigate it.
"The statement released by the Environment Public Authority (EPA) about the crisis in Umm Al-Haiman is a cause for concern as rate of pollution that had been recorded in the area is extremely high. Yet, Kuwaitis officials maintain a stony silence over the matter, as if Umm Al-Haiman does not belong to Kuwait at all!"


"Within a day, the MPs advised the minister of defense to prepare himself for a grilling, gave the prime minister 48 hours to respond to queries regarding the expenditures in his diwan, invited the minister of finance to the grilling podium, asked the minister of public works and state minister for municipality affairs to prepare for a confrontation, and urged the interior minister to resign, be dismissed or face an inquest," Abu Khalid wrote for Al-Horriya daily.
"MPs have been issuing fiery statements despite the call of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah for cooperation between the legislature and executive during the inauguration of the second legislative round.  Actually, the Constitution guarantees the right of MPs to submit grilling requests but it does not give them the right to toy with the present and future of the country.
"The Constitution has no stipulation allowing parliamentarians to instigate political conflicts under the guise of democracy.  Both authorities should then heed the advice of the Amir for the nation to actualize its development goals."


"In his keenness to resolve problems the country and its citizens are facing, HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad has specified existing and prospective difficulties and other concerns of the government, Hassan Al-Mehaimzi wrote Al-Sabah daily.
"Definitely, the premier uncovered serious issues at the meeting which require much effort, sincerity and desire for accomplishment to overcome. This can only be fulfilled through approval of the development plan, besides specification of our priorities, and it is necessary the government and National Assembly coordinate.

"Undoubtedly HH the Prime Minister spares no efforts to ease the sufferings of citizens and move the economy forward, as he presses for re-activation of the development plan, which Kuwait desperately requires for the next phase.
Yet responsibility lies in the hands of the MPs to work for the good of the nation, as perceived by all citizens".

- Compiled by Zaki Taleb

 


By: Zaki Taleb

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