KUWAIT: From Twitter Comment to Civil Unrest?

Behold the stinging power of the “pen,” even via Twitter: Kuwait is apparently in a national uproar over a Twitter comment by writer Mohamed Al-Mulaifi regarding Islamic religious icon Awaited Mahdi, Islam’s End Time prophet. The claim is that Al-Mulaifi made maligning remarks extremely offensive to the Shiite community. In response, protestors have begun pressuring the government to take decisive action against the writer. Some are calling for his citizenship to be revoked.

Kuwaitis an Islamic nation with 15% Shiites and 85% Sunni and the furor seems to have reopened long-festering wounds. MP Saleh Ashour, member of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, told reporters that negative commentaries on Islam doctrines are absolute out-of-bounds lines in his country, and, indeed, any perceived insult to Shiites and their beliefs can become a threat to national security. Liberal MP Ali Al-Rashid rushed to assure his countrymen that the Sunnis have no ties with Al-Mulaifi’s, and agrees that some punishment is in order. The fear is that if the issue is not handled properly, Kuwait could face civil unrest.

Al Mulaifi denies insulting the Mahdi and chalks up his perceived offensive writing to “misunderstanding”. Shocked by the insults handed to him and his mother, Al-Mulaifi plans to file one or more lawsuits in equally angry reply.


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Gulf News

Arab Times Online

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