[QODLink]
Middle East

Kuwait pulls cleric from TV over sectarianism

Shafi al-Ajmi's show cancelled as authorities accuse him of instigating hatred and promoting al-Qaeda-linked rebels.

Last Modified: 13 Aug 2013 13:18
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Al-Ajmi openly raises money for Syrian rebel groups, including al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra [AP]

Government officials in Kuwait have pulled a prominent cleric off television over previous comments they say stoked sectarian tensions and promoted an al-Qaeda-linked rebel group in Syria.

Shafi al-Ajmi's show, "Following the Path of the Prophet," premiered on Monday on state television in Kuwait.

By Tuesday, Information Minister Salman al-Homood said the show had been cancelled and that an investigation had begun to determine who was responsible for putting the cleric on the air.

"The ministry of information does not approve of airing episodes for any individuals who instigates hatred and promotes such rhetoric," al-Homood told journalists.

Al-Ajmi regularly writes anti-Shia comments online, suggesting that the Shia faith should be banned in Muslim countries.

Supporting rebels

He also gained notoriety in the Gulf kingdom when he appeared in an online video in which he celebrated the beheading of a leader of the Lebanese Hezbollah group and his son.

The cleric also actively raises funds for Syrian rebel groups including al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, which is fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

In a message on Monday on Twitter, al-Ajmi wrote that that "all supporters of the Syrian fighters are welcome to my home." He followed that up by posting his home address.

Kuwait has been battered by political unrest for the past two years.

A variety of groups inspired by the Arab Spring protest movements have stepped up pressure on the ruling Al Sabah family over alleged fiscal mismanagement, corruption and efforts to police social media.

Over the past two years, dozens of people have been charged with remarks deemed offensive to the emir, which is a crime in Kuwait.

247

Source:
Associated Press
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list