U.S. ally’s plan on track to impose capital punishment
“The Kuwaiti parliament voted overwhelmingly for the strict blasphemy law. If approved by Kuwait’s supreme leader, the law will impose the death penalty on Muslims who insult Allah, the Quran, Muslim prophets, or Muhammad’s wives,” World Net Daily reports.
By Michael Carl
5/10/2012 Kuwait (World Net Daily) – The government of Kuwait may be just days from fully adopting a strict new blasphemy law that will call for the death penalty for anyone who insults the name of Muhammad.
The Kuwaiti parliament voted overwhelmingly for the strict blasphemy law. If approved by Kuwait’s supreme leader, the law will impose the death penalty on Muslims who insult Allah, the Quran, Muslim prophets, or Muhammad’s wives.
Christians and other non-Muslims will get off a little easier. They’ll just be given a minimum of a 10-year prison sentence.
International Christian Concern’s Aidan Clay says that the move is part of a broader picture of what’s happening in the Middle East.
“Blasphemy laws have been on the rise in recent years and are increasingly posing a threat to free speech and human rights in the Middle East. In Tunisia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, many Muslims and religious minorities, including Christians, have been given prison sentences for blaspheming Islam,” Clay said.
“Now we’re seeing even harsher laws taking shape in Kuwait where the parliament recently approved the death sentence for Muslims who insult Allah, the Quran, Muslim prophets, or Muhammad’s wives,” Clay said.
“If approved by Kuwait’s ruler, the amendment will have serious consequences for followers of non-Muslim beliefs as well, who will be given a minimum prison sentence of 10 years for the same offense. Although Christians are a small minority in Kuwait and most are from the expatriate community, undoubtedly they and other religious minorities will be targeted,” Clay said.
American Enterprise Institute’s Middle East analyst Michael Rubin says the recent elections are the explanation for the change.
“During the February elections, religious hardliners won greater influence. There is a conflict in Kuwaiti society between the relatively moderate elite who are more interested in business and trade than anyone else and the ‘Bedouin’ who trace their roots to Saudi Arabia,” Rubin said.
Clay says Kuwait is following a trend.
“Like we’ve seen during elections in Egypt, Tunisia, and other countries in the Middle East following the uprisings that ousted long-standing rulers last year, Kuwait’s parliamentary elections in February also gave political power to Islamists.