Call to drop ‘racist’ clause in Kuwait citizenship law

May 9, 2013
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A Kuwaiti lawmaker has called for dropping a “racist” clause in the citizenship law that limits granting the nationality only to Muslims.

“Clause Five of Article Four of the Citizenship Law which stipulates that the nationality be given only to Muslims is unfamiliarly racist and abominable,” MP Khalil Al Saleh said.

“I have a filed a motion to cancel the clause related to the religion of the applicant for the nationality. In the past, the conditions were confined to living legally in Kuwait, having a steady source of income and possessing a good knowledge of Arabic. In 1966, the clause of professional competence needed by the State of Kuwait was added to the conditions. The clause stating that the applicant must be a born Muslim or a convert to Islam for at least five year was introduced in 1982,” the MP told local daily Al Rai.

The lawmaker said that not granting competent non-Muslims the nationality would deprive the country of outstanding assets or impressive services.

“The religion criterion in fact clashes with the freedom of creed which is clearly stated in Article 35 of the constitution,” he said.

“My motion to drop the clause that confines granting the Kuwaiti citizenship to Muslims is to uphold the spirit of the constitution. Islam as a divine religion has invariably promoted rapprochement between all divine religions. I do not call for opening the door to people who do not believe in a divine religion, but those who do believe in a divine religion should be able to apply for the Kuwaiti citizenship if they meet all the other requirements,” he said in the remarks published by the newspaper on Tuesday.
http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/kuwait/call-to-drop-racist-clause-in-kuwait-citizenship-law-1.1180155

         

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About the author

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

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