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Three ministers in hot seat over mixed coffee shops – Call to take quick action

KUWAIT: Three Kuwaiti ministers could be interrogated by parliament if mixed coffee shops are not closed within one month, a lawmaker has warned. Reports in Kuwait City pointed to the presence of young women and men in these coffee shops to smoke shisha.

“We will not hesitate to grill the competent ministers if these immoral coffee shops are not shut down within one month,” MP Askar Al- Enezi said, quoted by local media. “We urge the ministers of interior, commerce and municipality to take action against these cafes all over Kuwait, but particularly in the Jahra area,” he said, referring to his constituency north east of the capital Kuwait City.

The lawmaker issued his warning as he took part in a rally on Saturday alongside other MPs, religious figures and residents in Jahra to push for action against the coffee shops accused of promoting vice and depravation. “Such coffee shops have no room in our society as they violate our very traditions and customs as well as the spirit of the Constitution which stipulates the state’s responsibility in maintaining the values of the family considered as the core of the community and in protecting the youth,” the lawmaker said. MP Sultan Al Laghisem and Mohammad Tana said that they would use all parliamentary means to ensure the end to the “moral menace” to Jahra by the coffee shops.

“There is a deep corruption of morals at these suspicious places and we will do our utmost, including quizzing, to fight it,” Mohammad Tana said, quoted by Al-Jareeda daily on Sunday.

The call to shut down the mixed cafÈs triggered a heated debate on Kuwaiti social media where the focus was on the extent of individual freedom in a country where society and families have a preponderant status. Lawmakers were also accused by some commentators of advancing a self-serving populist agenda to ensure high ratings that would allow them to be re-elected.

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This article was published on 13/10/2013