Kuwait bill seeks to ban religious jibes

Two Kuwaiti lawmakers have submitted a bill calling for jail terms of up to 10 years and hefty fines for anyone who insults the Muslim, Christian or Jewish holy books and religious prophets.

    Majority of Kuwaitis are Muslim, with some 200 Christians

    MPs Ali al-Rashid and Faisal al-Muslim also proposed similar punishment for anyone who insults the companions of the Prophet Muhammad and any of the angels.
     
    "The bill aims at making a criminal offense any humiliation, by words or deeds, of prophets, companions of Prophet Muhammad and the three holy books - the Quran, the Bible and the Old Testament," the bill states.
     
    Besides the jail term, the bill proposes a fine of up to 10,000 dinars ($34,000).

    The MPs said the Kuwaiti constitution guarantees freedom of faith, and accordingly all monotheistic religions must be respected to safeguard national unity and achieve social peace.

    The bill must be passed by the 50-member assembly and endorsed by Kuwait's emir to become law.

    The overwhelming majority of the emirate's 900,000 Kuwaitis are Muslim, with some 200 Kuwaiti Christians. One-third of the local population are Shias.

    A Kuwaiti Shia activist was jailed last week for one year and fined $3340 for recording an audiotape deemed abusive of Islam's first two caliphs. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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