Islamists Demand Reforms in Kuwait

Kuwait, the Islamist opposition blocks the country, 100 thousand on the streets of the capital

ICC Note:

Muslim protests calling for the removal of the monarchy has rocked the country of Kuwait this week. While there are relatively few Kuwaiti Christians, the rights and freedoms of the small minority would be greatly hindered under an Islamist-led government. In May, for example, Kuwait’s parliament approved the death sentence for those who “insult Allah, the Qu’ran, Muslim prophets, or Muhammad’s wives.” The law would be in place today if it had not been overruled by Kuwait’s emir. If the emir is ousted from power, a radical interpretation of Islamic Sharia law will define the country’s future rule.

10/24/2012 Kuwait (AsiaNews.it)- The wrath of the opposition against the Kuwaiti government shows no sign of calming. In the last two days, the country has been overturned by the largest popular protests in its history. Between 22 and 23 October more than 100 thousand people took to the streets of the capital in protest against the government which responded by deploying police and the army. Members of the opposition have accused the Interior Ministry of using foreign troops to attack the demonstrators and provoke clashes. The partial toll is 100 injuries among the demonstrators and 11 policemen injured.

Today the opposition announced that the protests will continue indefinitely until the government gives in to the demanded reforms to transform the country into a true democracy.

The current crisis began last March after the victory of the Islamists in elections, marking a historic achievement for the country which has always been close to the positions of the western states. Fearing the extremists, the Emir ruled the current electoral law unconstitutional. He annulled the vote in March, proposing new elections for the 1st of December. In recent months, however, the parliament and the Council of Ministers close to the royal family have tried in every way to change the current electoral law, providing the opposition a series of democratic reforms. The vagueness of the government has led to the creation of a broad opposition to the royal house which includes the Muslim Brotherhood, nationalist and reformist democratic parties, which together have decided to boycott the elections in December and call all the people to demonstrate. The climate of contestation was further fuelled by the arrest of three opposition MPs accused of undermining public safety of the Emirate.

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