By John Irish
One week after introducing a draft law to allow women the right to vote and run in elections, Kuwait’s religious authorities have issued a fatwa banning concerts with women singers.
Kuwaiti religious authorities are at it again. Just two months after banning Mel Gibson’s the Passion of Christ, this time a fatwa, published by Kuwait’s Islamic Affairs Ministry, forbids women singers from performing concerts in the state.
The move follows a recent Star Academy event held on May 6, which was deemed un-Islamic after a series of demonstrations by conservative activists.
“It is not allowed for any party to organise a concert by Star Academy or under any other name, as long as they include practices forbidden to Islam,” said the religious edict quoted by AFP.
Among the forbidden activities included were women singing to men, the two genders mixing when women reveal parts of their body, dancing and the use of crude or vulgar language.
The fatwa also prohibits attending any similar concerts and providing any financial assistance to set them up.
Although widely popular in the Arab World, it’s not the first time a reality TV show has faced wide criticism and banning. In March Al Rai’s, the region’s equivalent to Big Brother, was taken off air after a series of demonstrations across the Gulf.
However, for Kuwait’s government this latest decision by the religious authorities will come as bad timing. It recently drafted laws to allow women the right to vote and run for parliamentary polls.