Kuwait has suspended five Friday sermon preachers pending an investigation into their alleged non-compliance with the directives of the endowments ministry.
“The preachers did not comply with the directives from the ministry to avoid references to the political situation in some Arab countries,” Adel Al Falah, the ministry undersecretary, said. “In addition, using the mosque platforms to engage in political issues and to answer other preachers is a deviation from the charter of the mosques,” the official told local Arabic daily Al Qabas.
Al Falah said that the ministry rejected bringing political issues and matters into mosques, seen as a place of worship and religious devotion.
“We have over 700 preachers in the country and they all cooperate with us and appreciate the special situation and conditions of the country,” he said. “Those who refuse to commit themselves to our directives do not represent us.”
All preachers and imams have however been recording their sermons as requested by the ministry.
Kuwait last month said that it would not allow mosques to be used for ideological purposes and to reflect political developments in some Arab countries.
The ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt in summer has galvanised the standoff between supporters and those who opposed the movement.
The presence of sympathisers of the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots in the Arabian Gulf countries was seen as a potential security issue, especially as most Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries supported the new government in Cairo.
Saudi Arabia had suspended several preachers for not complying with its directives to avoid any reference in their Friday sermons to the political situation in Arab countries, mainly Egypt and Syria.
The authorities have regularly insisted on the religious character of the weekly sermon for worshippers.