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Wednesday , November 14 2018

Kuwait eyes crackdown on unlicensed worship places

MANAMA, Bahrain, Oct 18: Kuwaiti authorities said they would take action against all unlicensed mosques and worship areas, citing security concerns, says Gulf News. Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Shaikh Mohammad Al- Abdullah said the government had reviewed a recommendation submitted by the committee for public services regarding the proliferation of mosques and places of worship that do not have offi cial approval.

The cabinet decided to task the Municipality of Kuwait City to coordinate with the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs and other agencies concerned to address the issue and fi nd prompt solutions. The interior ministry said there were grave security concerns regarding the illegal structures and called for an end to the situation, Kuwaiti daily Al Rai reported on Tuesday.

The endowments ministry was tasked with preparing a detailed report about all unlicensed mosques and places of worship across the country. The report should include the view of the ministry on the best ways to deal with the situation, the daily added. The ministry was given two months to present its report to the cabinet.

Kuwait, like other countries in the region, has started paying special attention to the usually small and makeshift mosques erected to ease the performance of prayers for people living or working far from large mosques. However, concerns about misuse of the places are pushing the authorities to step in and eliminate possible threats to security and stability.

In June 2015, a terrorist blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City, killing 27 people and injuring more than 220. The act of terror, widely condemned by all parties and communities in Kuwait, has led to the authorities stepping up security around mosques and religious community centres. Meanwhile, the Criminal Court postponed looking into the “terrorist cell” case, in which 26 defendants are involved, to November 29 to announce the rest of the suspects.

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