'End ban on churches': Kuwaiti MP

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Kuwaiti Shiite Muslim member of Parliament Saleh Ashour. (Getty Images)

Kuwaiti Shiite Muslim member of Parliament Saleh Ashour. (Getty Images)

A Kuwaiti MP has called for non-Islamic places of worships to be allowed in the Gulf state to increase religious tolerance.

Churches and other places of worship are banned and Shia mosques are restricted in the Sunni Muslim-majority country.

A recent US State Department report criticised the country’s poor level of freedom of religion and worship, including the incitement of discrimination against non-Sunni Muslims.

MP Saleh Ashour said the country was far behind in religious and sectarian tolerance and it should allow the construction of non-Islamic places of worship, as is the case in places such as the US, and Europe.

“Enough is enough of putting Kuwait in an embarrassing situation,” Ashour was quoted as saying by Arab Times.

“Restrictions should be lifted so the people can practice their beliefs away from the scrutinising eyes of the state.”

He said he would pursue the issue when parliament resumed in October.

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Posted by: Laila Abul

Correction:

There was NEVER a proposal to ban churches in Kuwait.

There are 50 MPs in the Kuwaiti Parliament. One MP in the Kuwaiti Parliament supposedly wanted to create a ''draft proposal'' to ban the construction of new churches. The ''draft proposal'' was never created

Posted by: Mary Morgan

@Laila: What part do not understand, Kuwait? Specifically, what new churches have been allowed to be built since 2012? If you read the article, I have listed key points below. You continuously gloat in the GCC about your system of government when your country has not progressed with the rest of the GCC. The UAE works perfectly fine with a proactive government that has developed the nation for the nation with sound policies.
- A Kuwaiti MP has called for non-Islamic places of worships to be allowed in the Gulf state to increase religious tolerance.
- Churches and other places of worship are banned and Shia mosques are restricted in the Sunni Muslim-majority country.
- "MP Saleh Ashour said the country was far behind in religious and sectarian tolerance and it should allow the construction of non-Islamic places of worship". Obviously, his efforts appear self-serving but then again your government is self-serving.

Posted by: laila

Is there a need for a reading comprehension course?

- Churches are not banned in Kuwait.

- The construction of churches is not banned in Kuwait.

- MP Saleh Ashour never said churches are banned in Kuwait

- MP Saleh Ashour said: ?Kuwait is still far from religious and sectarian tolerance due to the mentality of some officials who follow fatwas which are not in line with Islam and the principle of tolerance.?

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/208090/reftab/73/Default.aspx

I suggest that ''Arabian Business'' refrains from misreporting words and sensationalism.

MP Saleh Ashour NEVER said non-Islamic places of worship aren't allowed in Kuwait.

The original ''Arab Times'' source that Arabian Business cited: http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/208090/reftab/73/Default.aspx

Posted by: Ali

Article is wrong, it needs to be amended. There are churches in Kuwait.

Posted by: Laila Abul

ahmed:

The Kuwaiti government has not banned the construction of churches

The MP never said the construction of churches is blocked in Kuwait

Churches are NOT banned in Kuwait, a new church was recently approved for construction

Posted by: ahmed

Is there a need for a reading comprehension course ? The article does not say there are no churches or non-Sunni mosques in Kuwait, the article states that the government has blocked the construction of non-Sunni mosques and churches to be built presently and this MP states that he will bring up this topic in October when the new Parliament resumes sessions.

Posted by: Laila Abul

Mary Morgan:

In 2012, there was a proposal by ONE MP to ban the construction of new churches. The proposal was rejected by the Parliament

Churches are fully legal in Kuwait and several new churches were constructed under the current Emir

Kuwait has an elected parliamentary system in which MPs are allowed to crease proposals. A proposal is a proposal.

MP Saleh al-Ashour never said churches are not allowed in Kuwait.

Shia MP Saleh Ashour mainly asked for the construction of more Shia Muslim mosques in Kuwait

Kuwait ranks highly in regional comparisons of freedom of religion and tolerance

Unlike UAE, Kuwait is an elected parliament with directly elected representatives. If UAE had an elected Parliament, I bet many Emirati MPs will create proposals for banning the construction of new churches.

Posted by: RAH

Where does the Kuwait Times article state that there is a ban on churches in Kuwait?

He called for more places of worship to be opened. As far as churches in Kuwait, there are more than 8 operating churches in the country that are fully licensed by the state.

Where does the ?ban on churches? title banner in AB exactly fit in here? Sensationalism yet again, or is your journalist just plain lost, yet again?

Posted by: Mary Morgan

@RAH If I recall back in 2012 there was legislation in Kuwait calling for the banning of further construction on churches and other non-Sunni mosques, whilst other GCC nations like Qatar passed legislation allowing the construction of a new church to the joy of thousands of Christians working in Qatar. The few churches that are currently built in Kuwait were allowed to be built decades ago under a different Emir. To allow the construction of more religious buildings, that cater to the diverse community in Kuwait, would paint a better picture on the status of religious tolerance in the State of Kuwait to the international community. I believe that is what MP Asfour is stating in this article. But no country in the middle-east exemplifies greater religious tolerance than the United Arab Emirates and that is due to its great leadership. If only other middle-eastern countries would follow the level of religious tolerance as in the UAE, there would be less conflict in the region.

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