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The Danger Threatening Kuwait - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed, commented on the political crisis in his country, warning of the dangers of what he called “repulsive strife” stating that “there will be no solution or treatment [for this]…there are no winners and the loser is always the nation, and everybody pays the price. The best example of this is the evils and repercussions of strife that countries and societies are facing, and the results of splits and animosity affecting the people of one house [nation] that have affected their capabilities and devoured everything there.”

Sheikh Sabah’s warning to his citizens comes at a time when Kuwait is witnessing political intensification, and this is worrying. According to some in Kuwait, the problem is interconnected, and cannot be separated from itself, whether this is to do with interpellations or the tug-of-war between the government and the opposition.

However the greater threat in all of this is falling to levels that threaten the unity of Kuwait and its stability, and what is meant [by this] is a sectarian split taking place as a result of the crisis, as well as a class split. Sterile political disputes, regardless of their justifications, have unfortunately become commonplace in all democratic Arab countries, in a manner that is as far away as can be from a democratic approach. The basis of this [approach] is the sense of national unity through men of the state who have the ability to prioritize the interests of the country, and avoid anything that could push the country into dangerous pitfalls or actions that disrupt progress, and this is something that is not available in many of our nations. The best example of this is the postponement of Lebanon’s parliamentary work for a long period of time.

However Lebanon is not like Kuwait, and there are no similarities between the two [states], and this is what we mean when we say that political interaction in Kuwait is one thing, and falling for the threat of sectarianism and class [conflict] is something else. When we look at what is happening in Kuwait by a man who utilizes his television channel in order to incite one [social] class against another; then this is not an example of freedom, as responsibility comes with freedom, and [this] incitement points to [the presence of] carelessness, and in fact a threat to social and national peace.

The same applies to sectarian incitement, as anybody who visited Kuwait recently will have noticed disturbing signs, and I say this as a fan of Kuwait and its people, and indeed I am predisposed towards them. I was appalled by many posters – which I saw with my own eyes on some cars in Kuwait – that can only be described as sectarian.

One thing reminds me of something else, for example the disgraceful conduct by a Salafist religious center in Kuwait with the goal of impinging the Shiite belief on Ashura cannot be seen in isolation from other provocative actions, such as inciting the feelings and memories of Kuwait and its people by establishing a special mourning marquee for Imad Mughniya in Kuwait. Both of these acts are far away from freedom or democracy, not to mention the foundation of coexistence between the people of one nation.

The Emir of Kuwait has every right to say that “the atmosphere is fraught with strife, and hateful prejudice, which carries the seeds of strife that threaten the foundations of our society and its security and stability, and all walks of life.” Regardless of the political conflict, there must be red-lines [that are not transgressed] and are agreed upon by all to protect Kuwait and the people of Kuwait.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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