Persecution of Non-Muslims (Kuwait)

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Note that the persecution of apostates and the persecution of homosexuals are covered in separate pages

American convert to Islam murders two fellow officers and wounds 14 others in a grenade and rifle attack because 'he was concerned they would kill Muslims in Iraq'[edit]

A soldier from the 101st Airborne Division of the United States was sentenced to death Thursday night for a fatal grenade attack on his fellow soldiers days before the invasion of Iraq.

A military jury at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, gave Sergeant Hasan Akbar the death penalty for killing two officers and wounding 14 others in Kuwait in 2003.

The 15-person jury deliberated seven hours before returning thesentence. The same jury last week convicted Akbar of two counts ofpremeditated murder and three counts of attempted premeditated murder.

Earlier Thursday, Akbar, 34, apologized for his action in a brief statement to the court.

Akbar threw grenades into troop tents at his Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait in an early March morning and then fired on soldiers in the ensuing chaos. Prosecutors said the attack was driven by Akbar's religious extremism.
The attack occurred in the middle of the night as the 101st Airborne was preparing to move into Iraq in support of the US-led invasion in March 2003.

Capt Christopher Seifert, 27, and Maj Gregory Stone, 40, were killed.

Prosecutors say Akbar told investigators he launched the attack because he was concerned that US troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq.

They said he carried out the attack "with a cool mind" to achieve "maximum carnage" on his comrades in the 101st Airborne Division.
US soldier guilty of camp murders
BBC News, April 21, 2005

Interior Ministry sources say the 1,800, mainly Falasha (Ethiopian/black) Jewish maids working in Kuwaiti households practice black magic and are a danger to Muslim children[edit]

There are about 1,800 Jewish maids working in Kuwaiti households, reports Alam Alyawm daily quoting Interior Ministry sources.

The same sources said these maids are citizens of India, Bangladesh and Ethiopia. The sources also warned such maids practice black magic and may have allegiance to Israel.

They thoughts and opinions may also constitute a danger to Muslim families - either Kuwaiti or expatriate - and may have an ill effect on our children.

The sources added the origin of most of these maids is believed to be Falasha.
1,800 Jewish maids in Kuwait
The Arab Times, October 20, 2009

"Rising Islamic tendencies in Kuwait" leads to the unexplained eviction of an entire Church congregation. Church leaders fear for their safety and the thought that they will now be unable to find permanent homes[edit]

The eviction of a Christian congregation from a private villa used for worship gatherings for the past seven years has some observers speculating whether Kuwait's Islamist politicians are beginning to actively target non-Muslim groups.

An American contractor for the U.S. Army in Kuwait, also a Christian, contacted The Christian Post in mid-April, saying that The Lighthouse Church (TLC) he attends was having difficulty renewing its lease. The man, who asked to remain anonymous for security reasons, said the lease was then suddenly terminated without explanation.

A villa church tied to the TLC congregation was later told by the landlord it had to pay an exorbitant fine each month to use a facility it had been renting, according to the Christian contractor. Church leaders reportedly decided not to argue and moved out.

Both congregations, affiliated with the National Evangelical Church in Kuwait, have found temporary meeting places, but leaders fear they will be unable to find permanent homes.

"The question is whether there will be further problems with other community branches, and whether we will be able to find other locations," the contractor told CP. "It is strange to realize that I have just been the victim of religious persecution. I also realize that I have some fear for my personal safety here."

The Christian contractor suggested that the rising Islamic tendencies in Kuwait's policy might be to blame for the congregations' alleged eviction.

"It turns out our church was forced out of the villa we were leasing by pressure from unknown persons on the landlord," the man told CP in an email. "Our leaders were in the process of renewing our lease and had the needed exemption in hand to allow us to use the villa."

Raising non-Muslim worship spaces in Kuwait is nearly impossible because of the common interpretation of Islamic law forbidding any other religion than Islam. Although Islamic law is not officially the law of the land, the authorities are often pressured to reject permits for the erection of new churches.

According to some estimates, there are between 150 and 200 Kuwaiti Christians and up to 350,000 foreign Christians living in the country. There are around 20 church buildings.

Nevertheless, congregations have been allowed to meet as house churches at private venues.

That tradition might be changing, according to reports, as conservative Muslim religious and political leaders have begun speaking out against the existence of any churches, including house churches, on the peninsula. Some observers point to the fact that Islamists won a majority in parliament in February's elections. Kuwait is 85 percent Sunni Muslim, with a 30-percent Shi'a minority, as well as sizable Hindu, Christian and Buddhist minorities.

At first, local Christians were not worried about the surge of Islamist politicians, according to the Christian contractor who attends The Lighthouse Church. "The Emir and the rest of the parliament are tolerant. This move was unexpected by most of us," he said. But that is beginning to change. "There seems to be an expectation that they [Islamists] will continue to expand their influence and numbers," the man told CP.

Non-citizens (anyone without the proper proof of heritage) cannot own property in Kuwait. "The easiest way for the church footprint to be reduced here will be to simply forbid leases to the churches," the contractor suggested.

In February, Islamists reportedly introduced legislation to remove existing Christian churches from Kuwait. After criticism from abroad, party officials clarified later that the legislation would not remove the churches but prohibit further construction of Christian churches and other non-Muslim places of worship in the country. The issue has yet to be resolved.

"Next week I will present a draft law to remove all churches from Kuwait because Kuwait is an Islamic country where churches are not permitted to be built," Islamist MP Osama Al-Monawer was quoted as saying at the time. Reports have also emerged about conservative members of parliament putting pressure on the country's Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to strictly enforce the ban on raising churches.

In March another controversy erupted when a Kuwaiti delegation reportedly sought the advice of Saudi Grand Mufti on the issue. Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stressed that Kuwait was part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it was necessary to destroy all churches in it, which drew criticism from international observers.

In addition, Kuwaiti laws on blasphemy have been tightened, as the parliament ruled at the beginning of May that offending Islam or the Prophet Muhammad could be punished with death.

Most recently, in a Monday report, Al-Watan Daily said the Kuwaiti Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Adel Al-Kandari, has asked for a list of all churches in Kuwait without giving any explanation. The ministry reportedly also asked for all details about these churches, their location, and the geographical distribution and area of each church. The purpose of al-Kandari's request was not immediately clear.