Mulaifi in 21-day remand for probe Shias seek tough, urgent action

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 12: The Public Prosecution has summoned controversial writer Mohammad Al-Mulaifi to question him on allegations that he offended the Shiites in his articles and the statements he posted on his Twitter account.

According to a reliable source, Al-Mulaifi will remain in detention for 21 days pending his interrogation. This came after the filing of a State Security case against him for the controversial statements he made.
Meanwhile, the Amiri Diwan has outrightly rejected Al-Mulaifi’s statements, which were considered offensive to the Shiites in Kuwait and an attempt to instigate sectarian conflict.

In a press statement Sunday, Deputy Minister for Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah expressed censure on Sunday over a recent article published in the media which included mockery and abuse, which caused tension, compromised the sanctity of the social fabric in the State of Kuwait, and instigates divide among different groups of society.

The statement said, “The Amiri Diwan viewed with utmost censure an article recently published by a writer who employed mockery, verbal abuse, and attempt to harm the social fabric through spreading chaos, instigating tribal dispute, and seeding divide among the different groups of our society. This, we believe, is in violation of the teachings of Islam and the Kuwaiti values and ethics which both stress on interaction and solidarity and forgiveness.

“The language and style of the said article also constitutes a violation of law and of freedom of opinion and abuse of the latter. As we express utmost displeasure and censure of the article’s abuse of people’s beliefs, dignity, customs and legacies, we stress that the concerned authorities shall take all legal measures due to hold accountable all those who break the law and abuse our country and countrymen.
“We also urge all to unite and to maintain national solidarity and refrain from any act or word that could bring it harm”.   

On the other hand, Al-Mulaifi apologized to the Shiites if they felt offended by his statements but he quickly explained that his comments were misunderstood.

Speaking to the press, Al-Mulaifi clarified he respects the family of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and he firmly believes in the ‘awaited Mahdi’, who is expected to appear at the end of time to spread justice. He vehemently denied allegations that he insulted the family members of the Prophet (PBUH), confirming he had previously written several articles proving his belief in the ‘awaited Mahdi’, especially since the Sunnis also expect his appearance towards the end of time.

Al-Mulaifi also denounced calls for his death, warning this will lead to chaos, while criticizing the Ministry of Interior for allowing anyone to slander him and his family in a public gathering Friday.

Participants in Friday’s gathering demanded the withdrawal of the citizenship of Al-Mulaifi. Attorney Ali Al-Ali was quoted as saying that the Shiites will not accept a reluctant condemnation. He expects serious steps to be taken against Al-Mulaifi, including the revocation of his citizenship. He said many Muslims around the world intend to file cases against the writer for insulting the Shiites.

Moreover, MP-elect Adnan Al-Mutawwa has called on the government to speed up the passing of national unity law, “which was delayed because of the dissolution of the National Assembly and the resignation of the government.”

MP-elect Mohammad Al-Khalifa too affirmed that the National Assembly will not tolerate attempts to harm national unity and will try to swiftly pass a law criminalizing such acts.

It can be recalled that last Thursday, several Shiite MPs and citizens, such as Saleh Ashour, Abdulhamid Dashti and Adnan Abdulsamad, asked the government to quickly take the necessary legal action against Al-Mulaifi.

Ashour said, “We are waiting for the government to stop the writer from instigating conflicts. Our stand will depend on the action that the government will take against him. Everyone should know that the doctrines are red lines nobody should cross; otherwise, they will cause internal strife which may have a negative impact on the country and weaken national unity.”

Dashti appealed for the intervention of HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah who, he asserted, must instruct the concerned ministries to deal with this dangerous issue according to the law and the Constitution to serve as deterrent to other writers who intend to disrupt national unity.

Abdulsamad added the information minister must do everything in his power to hold Al-Mulaifi responsible for maligning the beliefs of Shiites before chaos erupts in the country.
Sources from the government revealed that the Ministry of Information is planning to file a lawsuit against
Al-Mulaifi for abusing Shiite symbols, while Shiites demand that sedition be nipped in the bud to preserve social cohesion and national unity.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim

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