KUWAIT CITY, Sept 19: Certain incidents witnessed recently are clear violations of personal freedom, which are unacceptable as personal freedom is a red line, MP Ahmed Al-Fadel stated in a press conference.
He explained he has been hearing about these incidents throughout the year but refrained from issuing a statement due to lack of information. After confirming that some of the allegations are true and the complaints of concerned individuals, it became apparent that restriction of public and personal freedoms is on the rise, he added.
Along with a number of his colleagues, Al-Fadel is currently documenting these incidents as they intend to have a series of meetings with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and all concerned ministers to address the issue.
These violations are taking the form of restricting the import of certain books, barring renowned scholars from entering the country to participate in educational conventions, and canceling entertainment and comedy shows even if the organizers obtained the necessary legal papers. The MP had earlier submitted a number of queries on these violations but he received nothing but vague and illogical answers.
The latest of such incidents was the harassment of the owners of shops selling mannequins and figurines calling them ‘pagan statues,’ as well as the removal of a Christmas tree from a shopping center just because a lawmaker caused a commotion forcing the Ministry of Commerce to intervene and remove the tree. “I am a Kuwaiti before I am an MP,” Al-Fadel asserted while clarifying that no new year passed without a Christmas tree lit in the country and respect for religious figures from every school of thought.
He asked, “Are we in a country of laws and institutions, or a country which derives its regulations from discussion circles?” He pointed out that refraining from involving the ministry or stopping these discussion circles is a good step.
He commended the Ministry of Commerce for not ordering the closure of the shop, disclosing he visited shops which allegedly sell ‘pagan statues’ and spoke to their owners who already removed their stock of mannequins and figures due to fear of what erratic individuals or groups might do to them, especially since they have been threatened. One of the owners told the MP that the law is not enough to protect him, indicating he has been legally selling the same merchandise for the past two years.
Furthermore, the MP stressed the individuals who instigated these movements and public behaviors once prohibited the ‘satellite’ only to become stars on TV which prohibits smart phones with cameras and then resorted to smart phones later through which they became social media stars. The MP asserted he owes it to his constituents to address this issue and the number of his colleagues expressing support for the move continues to increase – 12 MPs so far.
By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb Arab Times Staff