Al-Watan Daily"Egyptian liberal thinker banned from entering Kuwait" by Hussain Al-Qatari

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To the disappointment of Kuwait's liberal front, the Ministry of Interior has banned Egyptian liberal Islamist thinker Nasr Abu Zaid from entering Kuwait. As soon as he arrived at Kuwait International Airport on Tuesday evening, Abu Zaid was told that his visa was invalid and informed that he would be sent back to Egypt on a return flight the same night.

Abu Zaid had been invited by the Women's Cultural Social Society to give two lectures on Islam and democracy. Abu Zaid, who is known for his radical theories on Islam, has previously been accused of abandoning the Islamic faith, leaving in the mid 1990s for Europe, where he now lives.

The Ministry of Interior's decision to ban Abu Zaid from entering Kuwait appears to have been influenced by pressure from Islamist MPs, most of whom had adopted a negative stance against Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, whose no-confidence vote session in the parliament is due to be held today.

Talking to the press, Islamist MP Walid Al-Tabtabae said that it is surprising that a person like Abu Zaid was invited to Kuwait in the first place, questioning the intentions of whoever organized this event. "Kuwait does not need to import issues; these radical views on religion are alien to our society and are not welcome," he said.

MP Ali Al-Omair asserted that Kuwait is a land of faith, where religion figures hugely and thanked the Ministry of Interior (MoI) for its efforts, saying, "Such radical ideology has no place here in Kuwait.

Tribal MP Mohammad Al-Mutair said that a "blasphemous irreligious person like Abu Zaid is not welcome to enter Kuwait with his beliefs because it is damaging to our society," adding that religion is a red line that cannot be crossed in the name of freedom. (for full article
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4 Responses on "Al-Watan Daily"Egyptian liberal thinker banned from entering Kuwait" by Hussain Al-Qatari"

  1. Thomas says:

    For a nation that imports almost everything else, it might be useful to also import some additional original, and occasionally even a bit controversial (which these, to what I've heard, aren't), ideas...

    Debate, if it provided a open and constructive pedestal, is needed here and should be encouraged rather than stifled...

    Victoria says:

    I agree completely. You should read this interesting op-ed that came out the next day.

    http://alwatandaily.alwatan.com.kw/Default.aspx?MgDid=826200&pageId=482

    Thomas says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Thomas says:

    Yes, I've read Dr. Al-Eissa's pieces on the op-ed page before. He seems to be amongst the few contributing regularly to this page who puts some thought behind his points (I'm surprised sometimes how many of the contributors have trouble formulating a coherent argument). He's a wise and balanced exception...