Saturday, 30 May 2009

The Long Way

That the small but oil-rich state in the northwestern corner of the Persian Gulf has recently elected four female MPs in parliamentary elections has seemingly pushed Kuwait again into a forerunner position among its Arabic neighbors, in particular largely retarded Saudi-Arabia. However, the tiny democratic achievements are at risk due to continuous outrageous reactions of six notorious Islamists in the parliament, namely Faisal AlـMislem, Waleed AlـTabtabaie, Dhaifallah BuRamiah, Jamaan AlـHarbash, Mohammed Hayef and Mubarak AlـWalaan. As we read in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Watan Daily, they threaten to “walk out of the swearing-in ceremony of the two female MPs if they do not wear the hijab while taking the oath of office.” They even met to “discuss the legal procedures to be initiated against Aseel Al-Awadi and Rola Dashti for violating the Election Law which states that female candidates must stick to Islamic dress code during elections.”

It is definitely a long way until democratic values will eventually reach even the Arab world. Islamists will sooner or later vanish anyway. It is, however, a great shame that the same troublemakers of the former parliament are again abusing their largely serving role as ‘parliamentarians’ when intimidating others about an absurd issue, wearing hijab, or Islamic headscarf, whether it is inside or outside of Kuwait’s nice parliament building.

First published at Freelance.

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