Thursday, June 07, 2012

Kuwait Blasphemy Update

Kuwait will not, at least for the moment, impose the death penalty for blasphemy after the emir's government rejected the proposed law:
"The Cabinet rejected a draft law passed by the parliament calling for the death penalty for offending God Almighty or the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). The decision drew immediate criticism from MPs, which could potentially escalate into a confrontation in the National Assembly building. A cabinet insider said on Monday that the situation regarding the cabinet’s stance remains unclear, adding that the cabinet may change their decision at any point. Oppositionist lawmaker Dr Obaid Al-Wasmi announced in the meantime his plans to file a grilling motion against Prime Minister HH Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah regarding the laws’ rejection issue in addition to three other subjects. MPs argue that the cabinet committed an error when they rejected a law that they voted in favor of in parliament.
"The cabinet’s rejection is believed to be due to their desire to further study the Madhaheb (Islamic schools of law) before setting the penalty. In the meantime, the cabinet also rejected on Monday a draft law that regulates small projects. Under Kuwaiti law, the cabinet can reject a law passed by a majority in the parliament; who in turn can override the rejection with a majority vote of two-thirds. In addition to the rejection, Al-Wasmi told Al-Qabas that his grilling tackles allegations of irregularities in appointing senior officials in state departments, as well as the government’s plans to go ahead with the North Zoor power plant’s project despite MPs’ objections regarding the tendering process, in addition to the K-Dow case."
The business about studying the various schools of thought in Islamic jurisprudence (madhaheb) sounds like an excuse not to do something in the guise of a delay.  The government could be either giving itself an out if the salafi pressure gets too great or figuring it can delay the issue until the next parliamentary election.



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