Kuwait lawmaker under fire for call to ban religious building construction

February 20, 2012

A Kuwaiti lawmaker has criticised a fellow MP for calling for a ban on building new churches or non-Muslim places of worship in the country.

“It seems that MP Osama Al Munawer was not fully conscious when he said that he was mulling a bill to remove churches from the country,” MP Nabeel Al Fadhel said. “The constitution clearly stipulates religious freedoms and the right of all people to practice their religious beliefs,” he said, quoted by Arabic daily Al Shahed.

Kuwait’s rulers have invariably supported religious freedom, he said.

“I wish to refer those who were pleased with the MP’s call to how Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab refused to pray in a church amid concerns that some people would one day claim that their leader prayed there and demolish it,” he said.

Al Munawer, seeking to distance himself from the controversy, said that he had been misunderstood and that he never called for demolishing existing churches.

“I am not targeting existing churches or other non-Muslim religious buildings,” he said. “I said there was no need to build new ones. I do not want to get the parliament into a controversy as we have a lot of issues that need to be addressed urgently, so I am not going to respond to Al Fadhel’s comments,” he said.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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