Kuwait strips hard-line Shiite activist of citizenship after claims of blasphemyBy AP
Monday, September 20, 2010
Kuwait strips Shiite activist of citizenship
CAIRO — Kuwait revoked the citizenship of a hard-line Shiite scholar on Monday, accusing him of trying to stir up discord among Muslims by describing the Prophet Muhammad’s wife was an “enemy of God.”
The Interior Ministry made the decision after cleric Yasser al-Habib attended an event in London dedicated to attacking the prophet’s wife, Aisha. Such remarks are considered blasphemous by Sunnis, who revere Aisha as being the most beloved to him.
She is also a divisive character in Islamic history because of her leadership role in battles over who would succeed the prophet in leading Muslims after his death. Those battles divided Muslims into the communities that became known as Shiite and Sunni.
Predominantly Sunni Kuwait has accused al-Habib of similar offenses in the past. In 2004, a Kuwaiti court tried him in absentia on charges of issuing an audio recording insulting the companions of the prophet and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
The Interior Ministry is accusing al-Habib of undermining Kuwait’s national interests with his latest remarks and wants him extradited from his current base in London to face a trial, the Kuwait News Agency reported.
“Al-Habib attempted to create discord among Kuwaitis and also threatened the country’s interests and security,” said a ministry statement carried by the news agency.
The Interior Ministry says it is trying to avoid internal strife between Sunnis and Shiites that has been experienced by other countries in the region.
Tags: Africa, Cairo, Egypt, Kuwait, Middle East, North Africa, Religious Strife