A number of lawmakers, former MPs and religious societies have strongly condemned MP Nabil Al-Fadhl for saying that liquor was part of Kuwait’s history and ancestors were tolerant towards allowing its consumption in the past. According to Kuwait Times report, Fadhl, an independent MP with liberal-secular views, made the statements with the aim to prepare the grounds for calling to allow the use of liquor in the country.
Kuwait totally banned liquor in a law issued by the first National Assembly in 1964 although the country’s penal code had stipulated stiff penalties for the use of liquor four years earlier. Since its ban, authorities regularly bust large quantities of smuggled whisky from Gulf states where it is allowed like Dubai and also seize locally made liquor.
Before his liquor statements, Fadhl had also called for lifting tough restrictions on musical concerts in the country that were imposed 10 years ago allegedly under pressure from the then strong Islamist groups. He had also vowed to challenge an article in the Kuwaiti constitution banning non-Muslims from getting Kuwaiti citizenship.
Critics charged that Fadhl was trying to legalize the use of liquor which is totally banned in Islam. MP Saud Al-Huraiji said that by issuing such a statement, Fadhl had clearly undermined the image of Kuwaitis and the country’s history, adding that the statement is a clear manifestation that the lawmaker is ignorant about his religion.
Huraij said it is regrettable that a member of Kuwaiti parliament who has taken the oath to safeguard the Kuwaiti constitution and laws, has failed to keep his pledge by calling to legalize the use of liquor. “Fadhl is distorting the history and the image of Kuwait and its people who have elected him” he said. Islamist MP Humoud Al-Hamdan said that the ancestors of Kuwaitis were well known of their fight against moral corruption including the use of liquor.
Hamdan said it is not acceptable from a member of parliament to issue statements that include false information about the history of Kuwait and also calling to allow liquor. MP Faisal Al-Kundari said Fadhl is trying to confuse between the noble traditions of Kuwaitis and those who intruded their life and brought with them liquor and even traded in it.
Former MP Faisal Al-Muslim strongly lashed out at Fadhl’s calls and criticized MPs who did not condemn Fadhl. The Islamist Social Reform Society also strongly condemned Fadhl’s call to allow liquor saying that Kuwait remained an Islamic state that had applied the principles of Islam.