Muna Al-Fuzai

A new print shop for manufacturing and selling high-tech figurines caused a ruckus in Kuwait between Islamist activists and liberals. Some called it “the manufacturing of idols”, over which there is a dispute between scholars on its permissibility. Messages were extensively circulated on social media following a report about a shop in Kuwait that made high-tech 3-D human figurines from stereoscopic images. Some people were angered and labeled them as “idols”.

There have been several opinions about the matter. Some said it is a devilish way to deprive people from Islam and lead them away from worshiping Allah and towards becoming infidels. Others expressed concern over the possibility of its effects on people, if not now, then maybe in a few years’ time.

Some people including MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl clearly stated that it is trivial to even consider or assume that anyone would change their religion due to a colorful figurine. He promised to take a “serious stand in the parliament” to stop what he called a “vicious attack” on the products of the company, pointing out that ignorance is leading some members of the Municipal Council and the National Assembly to such actions.

I wonder why some people think that such items could change people’s religion and beliefs. I am really surprised by the extremism that some people have here. Frankly, I do not see such models having a potential spiritual effect, and concerns of idolatry are mere speculations. Moreover, if this topic wasn’t on social media, not many people would even think about it. But in Kuwait as usual, every week there is a new controversy on social media.

This subject was not important to me, but what bothered me was the attempt by some to emphasize that such figurines will lead to idolatry.  Why are we Muslims portrayed as weak in our faith? Who will change our religion just for the sake of a statue? We travel to many countries around the world and may happen to stay in a hotel that has a bar or casino, for example. Does this mean that you will rush to it just because of its presence there? It is unfortunate that some insist on portraying Muslims as having no logic and no minds…

By Muna Al-Fuzai