Newly-elected Parliament Speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun on Thursday received a number of well-wishers in his diwaniya in Khaldiya
Church-shy MPs warn Awqaf on licencing Ministry threatened with grilling

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 17: “Next week I will present a draft law to remove all churches from Kuwait because Kuwait is an Islamic country where churches are not permitted to be built,” a source quoted an Islamist MP Osama Al-Monawer as saying. Another source, however, said Monawer is only against the construction of a new church.

According to the source he also stated, “the proposal is consistent with calls of the majority in Parliament to amend Article (2) of the Constitution to implement the Islamic Sharia law.”

In a press statement, Al-Monawer warned the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs of political questioning if his ministry approves the construction of a new church in Kuwait, in spite of the existence of the fatwa which has been issued by Awqaf which states “the building of any house of worship for non-Muslims in a Muslim country is not permissible. It is also not permissible to rent houses to be turned into churches.”

However, another source denied Al-Monawer has threatened to present a draft law on the removal of churches from Kuwait pointing out he knows such a thing does not apply to Kuwait.

The source said Al-Monawer will only focus on not allowing the construction of a new church. He stressed under no circumstances  will he allow the construction of a new church in Kuwait. He also threatened to grill the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs if the ministry gives the approval to build a new church.

He added he will take up the issue with the Ministry of Awqaf which has recently agreed to allow the construction of a new church in Kuwait in violation of a standing fatwa from the Awkaf which forbids the construction of houses of worship for non-Muslims in Muslim land.

He said his vision stems from the fact that churches can be built everywhere except in the Arabian Peninsula. “That is not permissible because it is a Sharia rule and it is mentioned in the Hadith that: ‘No two religions can exist in the Arabian Peninsula.”

He added the late Islamic scholar Sheikh Bin Baz had presented a research on the prohibition of building churches in the Arabian Peninsula.

On a related issue, Islamist MP Mohammed Hayef Al-Mutairi warned that the permission given by the Awkaf Ministry to build a church in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh will not go unpunished.

Criticizing the ministry for giving permission to build a church in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, Al-Mutairi stressed “this permit will not pass unnoticed. We will not allow this serious stumble. We will take all procedures to cancel this ill-considered decision.”

On the other hand, former MP Saleh Al-Mullah criticized the MPs who want to submit a proposal to remove churches from Kuwait in violation of articles 29, 30, and 35 of the Constitution which stipulate absolute freedom of belief. He said the state protects the freedom of practicing religion in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public policy of morals.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim - Arab Times Staff

Read By: 16542
Comments: 3

Only allowing Muslims is a mistakeAlbert Morse | 2/18/2012 4:42:26 PM No man can know what another man believes. Only God knows the mind of man. Preventing a place of worship from being built does not prevent belief. This law creates class strife. If Only muslims can worship publicly then non muslims will worship privatly. Those that do not worship in a muslim house of woship will be considered of little value. I shall worship a God that will forgive the contrite man. I shall worship a God that is alive.
Religious Tolerance or Religious Extremism?Ahmed Suleiman | 2/18/2012 2:01:55 PM It is really shameful to see the newly elected MP Osama Al Monawer inciting racial tension and hatred immediately upon his entry into Parliament. He should realize that Kuwait has always been a safe haven for all peace loving people irrespective of religion, race, color, language or culture. Kuwait has a long history of religious and inter faith tolerance since its very formation. And now due to no apparent reason but only because of the fact that he has been elected as an MP, Osama Al Monawer wants to destroy churches and prevent the formation of new ones??!! Has the Christian community in Kuwait ever prevented the Muslims for practicing their faith? Has the Christian community in Kuwait ever spoke out against the Muslims in any arena like how Osama Al Monawer is presently doing? In every area of daily life in Kuwait till date, the Muslims and Christians have only worked hand in hand without any form of indifference or malice towards each other. Doesn’t Osama Al Monawer know that it was only a Christian nation by the name of the United States of America who had liberated Kuwait from its neighbor Iraq who was ruled by the tyrant Saddam Hussain? Did any muslim nation come to defend Kuwait against Iraq in 1990? Where were your friends of your so-called Arabian Peninsula when Kuwait needed them the most? The country of Kuwait was completely wiped out from the World map in 1990. And now after the Kuwaitis have got their freedom and the USA went one step further to completely eradicate Saddam Hussain once and for all, does Kuwait feel that it can say or do whatever it pleases which is against basic human rights and religious tolerance. Let Mr. Osama understand that it is by the plan of Allah that all religions and races came about and the success of man in the eternal test that was laid out by Allah ever since the beginning of Adam and Eve lies in how we treat our fellow human beings and all creations of Allah, who is the creator of all. Mr. Osama should und
FYI - Mr. MP Osama Al-Monawer Joshy | 2/18/2012 1:28:20 PM Article 29 of the Constitution states that all people are equal in terms of dignity, rights and public duties. Also, there would be no discrimination on basis of gender, language or religion. Moreover, it said, Article 35 states that the country grants the freedom of performing religious rites. “Hence, those behind the announcements should immediately stop this
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