The Kuwaiti law states that forgery of documents and official papers is a continuous crime, so it is not subject to the statute of limitations except on the day of ceasing to hold the document or giving it up.
Immediately after the eruption of the forged and fake certificates scandal or the certificates whose holders did not accredit the document or due to doubt in the credibility of universities that granted them, we saw the holders of such certificates deleting such information from their curriculum vitae and removing the title from their pages on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and others. Perhaps, they did this in an attempt to benefit from the text of the law “except on the day of ceasing to hold the document or giving it up.”
This is flagrant circumvention of the law. This could have been tolerated if the perpetrator is an ordinary person or an ignorant, but the senior preachers who have made us tired of their empty sermons in different forums must not be tolerated.
The government has opened doors of schools, theaters and malls for their lectures, while prayers are held in the largest mosques, sermons on Fridays and holidays are also held in such places, and they even influenced the opinions of naive voters.
Among those who attempted to take advantage of the text of the law and removed the title are preachers M.A. and N.M., the latter was involved in a scandal more than a year ago as his doctorate degree is fake but he continued to use the title and removed it only recently.
The Minister of Justice, in his capacity as Board Chairman of Zakat House, issued a ministerial decree a few days ago, stating that the ‘doctor’ title of A.R. — one of the officials in the Shariah Committee at Zakat House, has been deleted. The Director General of Zakat House issued a clarification in response to what was raised in the media, saying the member who “waived” the ‘doctor’ title is not an employee at Zakat House and he does not receive money for the title. Of course, it is an excuse uglier than sin.
For example, do I have the right to put the title ‘Brain Surgery Consultant’ before my name as long as I do not receive money from any party and I am not an employee in the Health Ministry?
Does the Director General of Zakat House want to convince us that the ‘unaccredited’ doctorate certificate was not a factor in choosing the holder to take up this position in the Shariah Committee at Zakat House? Does the Director General not believe that by admitting that the certificate is unaccredited means he and the concerned persons have been negligent in verifying validity of the certificate when the person was appointed to his post?
What prevented him or Zakat House from seeking equivalence for the certificate three years ago if it is genuine? Why was he not given a chance to apply for equivalence of the certificate before the minister decided to withdraw the title from him, if there was no doubt that it is worth something?
As for our preacher with the distinctive beard, he appeared on a video which went viral saying his doctorate certificate has not gone through the equivalence process but it not forged, and that he got it from a university in America. Our preacher refused to mention the name of the university and just raised a book in his hand in the video while refusing to show the title of the book, adding that he got the certificate on the subject of the book in question.
After searching, it was found that the title of the book in Arabic means, “Joy is seen when explaining matters.” Is this the first time for the world to know there are universities in the United States which grant a doctorate degree in Arabic on such subjects? Should not they be ashamed? How can it be acceptable to issue a decision to change the title of an official or chairman in a legitimate body without punishment or just demand for refund of the amounts received?
Had the ‘accused’ been a man with no religious status, would he have received the same treatment with such leniency?
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf