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‘Women in army’ … Defense Minister and clergy thought

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The young and enlightened Minister of Defense took a decision to open the doors for women to be enlisted in the army, so the religious hardliners revolted, and one or more MPs threatened to question the minister. His Excellency retracted and issued a statement in which he said that the Ministry of Defense is keen to seek the opinion of Sharia and verify the absence of any legal prohibitions if any in its decisions may contain and confirmed his adherence to the provisions and controls of Sharia.

His statements came during his meeting with a group of clerics who, in turn, emphasized the necessity of observing the controls in the work of women in military jobs, and the necessity of taking the opinion of Fatwa Authority of the Ministry of Awqaf.

Postponing the work of women in the army, until the Fatwa Authority is addressed to the extent of the compatibility of the decision with the Sharia, and its negative opinion will cancel the entire project.

Here, we ask God’s mercy on the souls of Kuwaiti martyrs, such as Wafa’a Al-Amer and Asrar Al-Qabandi, who did not think about the Islamic controls at the time, but rather about liberating the land from the invader.

The Minister of Defense, Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al-Ali, has a special place in my heart, not only because he has been following my articles for many years, but also for his humility, his great decency, his culture, and most importantly for his openness which is closer to liberalism than any other current.

Therefore, I was pained by the fact that a statesman of his stature and what awaits him from a future leadership, demanded the satisfaction of his civil decision par excellence, related to the entry of women into the army from a group of extremist clerics, the likes of whom remained only in our country, and we were never successful in following their advice that brought us to the miserable state we are in now.

Kuwait is or assumed to be a civil state as stipulated in its constitution, and it was not originally assumed that a prominent official would meet with clerics, or the clergy, to support his correct position, and this may be interpreted as evidence of weakness in the minister’s position, and this is what we do not wish for a beloved person in his position.

More seriously, we do not want any party to consider it a precedent that would push it in the future to demand the opinion of the fatwa regarding the permissibility of non-Islamic places of worship in the state, for example, or the permissibility of supplementing the state budget by imposing Islamic tax on non-Muslim citizens and other serious matters!

We are with you, Your Excellency, in your desire to be practical and flexible but not at the expense of the general principles of the state. The time of consulting clerics in matters affecting national security has become a thing of the past, and do not forget that these people today have an opinion, and tomorrow they will have another opinion.

Mr. Ajil Al-Nashmi, for example, who permitted women to work in the army had previously issued a fatwa after liberation, and from Kuwait Radio, that it is not permissible for a woman to leave her home and take up arms to defend her homeland.

The Saudi sister turned the table on these clergymen and demanded them to abide by their vital and specific role, represented in addressing religious issues and leaving the affairs of the world to its men and women.

The unblessed Awakening movement that crushed our societies for thirty years or more does not mean that we have to wait for a similar period to get rid of its consequences, but rather we have to burn the stages and move forward with all strength and determination.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf