THE entire world, including our region, is preoccupied with essential issues which threaten a number of countries. Thank God, the countries where we imported extremism and limitation of freedom have abandoned such a radical attitude.
Ironically, those who promoted the ideology of commitment in the past and accused whoever adopted a different ideology of atheism are silent today. They are hiding like a terrified rat.
Here in Kuwait, although we are suffering from widespread corruption and deterioration in many aspects including infrastructure, education, health, planning and security; we continue to suffer from the ‘past worshipers’. They move freely and sometimes the government is submissive to them for fear of parliamentary tools like grilling which is being misused. Such attitudes are trivial and reflect the ridiculous way of thinking of the one who adopted them. Trivialities are adopted by a number of MPs to gain the votes of citizens. They adopted radical ideologies like that of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis. The whole world, except our wise government, knows the truth about the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis. It is the only government in the region, and maybe in the world, which considers these groups.
Under the pretext of rescuing, collecting Zakat and donations, and providing tenders worth millions of dinars and medicines to various facilities of the Health Ministry dubbed as supporting needy patients; they accumulated large amounts of money and they became super rich using the money of the poor.
This group and their supporters did not thank the government for the establishment of Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem University in Shaddadiya. This giant edifice has no match in Kuwait or in any other place. Implementation of the gigantic project was delayed for more than 20 years due to the Segregation Law.
This law led to the construction of two buildings — one for male students and another for female students. The government enforced the dull law literally and we saw students of both genders moving freely outside the classrooms. The university decided to allow male and female students to attend lectures in the same classrooms in specializations which do not need to establish classrooms for each gender. According to university officials, the construction works have not been fully accomplished; affirming that the Segregation Law will be enforced as soon as 100 percent of construction works are completed.
Those who adopted the radical ideology cried out, stressing the need to enforce extremist regulations although they adopted Islam which is known as a tolerant religion. They do not take into consideration the fact that we are in the 21st century. We also heard and read that men and women during the era of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his wise Caliphates mingled in the markets, when traveling by camel and in wars. There were no schools or universities at the time.
Today, some clerics want to impose their own opinions, prohibiting mixing of genders. This might be applicable 1,000 years ago; but not today. We ask these clerics to adopt the full concept and refrain from using modern devices like telephones, electricity and air conditioning units. I ask them to go to work on the back of donkeys to prove their credibility; otherwise, I beg them to remain silent and stop dragging our society into their ancient past because they and the trivial issues have become two sides of the same coin.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil