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Kuwait faces IS

Muna Al-Fuzai

Muna Al-Fuzai

Friday, June 26 appeared as a normal day of Ramadan, where Muslims fast and perform Friday prayers as well as spend more time in mosques during the weekly day of rest. But unfortunately, the day did not end with the same calm and joy - it ended with a tragedy that affected all of Kuwait.

The terrorist organization IS committed a criminal bombing against a mosque during Friday prayers, leaving behind scores of dead and injured innocents. According to medical sources, the bombing killed at least 28 people and wounded more than 200.

The bombing occurred at the Shiite Imam Al-Sadiq mosque in Sawaber. A witness said the mosque was packed with about 2,000 worshipers. A large number of suspects have been arrested to investigate their involvement in the attack. This is not the first time we have witnessed a bombing attempt in the history of Kuwait.

Kuwait’s former ruler Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah was the target in 1985 of an assassination attempt that saddened all of Kuwait. It was hard. We learned a lesson that despite differences and disputes, the basic principle is that all citizens love their country and cannot compromise their national unity. Friday’s incident was similar to 1985 where all citizens united - Sunnis, Shiites and Christians - sending a patriotic message that although the loss of human lives is surely difficult, no one is ready to lose Kuwait and no power can create divisions among citizens.

This attempt by IS sent everyone in a state of shock and sadness because everyone feel fears of a possible repetition in another place or another mosque. Also, IS has followers who may be ready to act again, causing more damage. The Ministry of Interior’s and the Ministry of Information’s tasks today is to send an important message to the public that security is everyone’s responsibility, not just the police’s.

It has become scary that everyone knows IS cells are living among us and this should not be tolerated or accepted in any way. Dismantling these cells is important to avert the possibility of new attacks and the possibility of recruiting more people, especially the youth.

This is dangerous and must be noted. The other thing is that extremism here is the direct effect of what some conservative religious channels broadcast, and the information minister did well when he ordered a halt in the broadcast of Wesal channel.

Kuwait has accused the channel of stoking extremist sectarian conflict in the country against the backdrop of several tweets published by the official account of the channel calling for a “Sunni assault on Shiites”. Despite the possibility that the owners of this channel may decide to rebroadcast from another country, the decision to stop its broadcast is a good move. Some religious channels broadcast ideas of extremism and division among citizens on the basis of doctrines.

I hope that the ministry of information continues to fight extremism by any TV channel promoting sedition and extremism among the people. Terrorism has no religion. It seeks to kill and terrorize people and disseminate ignorance and destruction based on people’s fears, so strengthening internal security and the elimination of tools of IS supporters and ruthlessness towards its members without the acceptance of any bargains is important. We know that these mercenaries are targeting everyone, especially innocents gathering in places such as mosques and markets. We should be cautious, careful and strong.

May Allah keep Kuwait safe.

By Muna Al-Fuzai

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This article was published on 28/06/2015