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AS soon as talks on waiving off the personal loans of citizens resumed, the advocates of ‘social justice’ theory sprung back to mislead and justify the supposed unjust treatment of about 120,000 Kuwaitis, claiming that it is a breach of the equality policy between citizens.
They argue that some did not take loans; forgetting, intentionally or unintentionally, that the one who did not borrow was not in need, while the borrower was forced to do so due to his circumstances. The truth is that this percentage of Kuwaitis is subjected to permanent injustice; because when they fell under the burden of need, they found no way out but to borrow.
On the other hand, a significant proportion had to borrow with interest, which usurers exploited by making the borrowers — their victims — sign dud cheques or bonds in an effort to seize their properties or put them in prisons in order to pressure their families in case they fail to pay their debts.
Meanwhile, many financial institutions provide various facilities to these people. However, when they stumbled, they found themselves facing the judiciary, arrest warrants, travel bans and suspension of all their legal transactions in the State until they pay what they owe.
It is true that the needy is desperate, but the State guarantees fairness. If the State refrains from helping its citizens, it would have abandoned its role. If it supports usurers and greedy creditors, it would have encouraged systemic injustice and impoverishment, and then abandoned its constitutional role.
Based on this fact, it is necessary to ponder on an important issue — that social justice depends mainly on the prevention of injustice and upholding equality in rights and duties. This is the cornerstone of the Kuwaiti Constitution.
Hence, it is very shameful for security, judicial and civil institutions to be at the service of moneylenders; while the citizen is deprived of the means of protection, especially the one that guarantees him the minimum standard of a decent life.
It is unreasonable for more than 10 percent of Kuwaitis to be pursued and banned from traveling, some of whom have debts not exceeding KD 500. This happens at a time some of these institutions did not try to search for the sources of liquid funds that usurers use to harm more victims and engage in social sabotage.
One of the methods of laundering money acquired through bribery and theft of public money, drugs, usury, and lending with very high interest is the failure to inquire about the source of income. Many countries have noticed this. Thus, they pushed for the amendment of laws, and put the issuance of dud cheques and bonds under civil cases rather than criminal cases in order to stop the practice of restricting borrowers from exercising their rights or not to imprison them.
In contrast to those countries, the issue here has been without any remedy for a long time. It preoccupies a large proportion of Kuwaitis; while the State and constitutional institutions did not find any effective solution to this problem at a time prisons are teeming with debtors and victims of usury.
Here, we must recall the words of Almighty Allah in His Noble Book: “O, you who have believed, fear Allah and forsake what remains of usury. If you are believers, then forsake it.”
The time has come for the leadership and the government to put an end to many flaws in the law, which led to social disasters. This is forbidden by Islam, which put the blame on the creditor because he wasted his money through lack of prudence.
This is due to the fact that the continuation of this problem means more injustice for Kuwaitis — the ‘beneficiaries’ of the impoverishment of people under the slogan of something right like social justice and protection of rights utilized for a wrong purpose.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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