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Kuwait adopts hard line with Islamic anti-blasphemy laws

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
December 17th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In the ostensibly democratically new Egyptian government of President Mohamed Morsi, shariah law has been implemented. There are tough new laws that punish those who slander Islam, the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran. The nation of Kuwait has since followed suit, with the passage of a law that gives Muslims the death penalty for blaspheming against Islam.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Curiously, those not of the Muslim faith who engage in these forbidden acts may not meet the gallows. According to the bill, non-Muslims will be sentenced to prison for no less than 10 years.

The National Secular Society reports that defendants who repent in court are meant to be spared suffering capital punishment -- but will still serve five years in prison, incur a fine of $36,000 -- or both. Repeat offenders will be given the harshest sentence.

"We do not want to execute people with opinions or thought because Islam respects these people . But we need this legislation because incidents of cursing God have increased. We need to deter them," Kuwaiti MP Ali al-Deqbasi said.

Kuwaiti authorities arrested a Shiite man last March for allegedly slandering the Prophet Mohammed, among others in a message posted on Twitter. He remains in custody awaiting trial.

Kuwaiti Shiites think the bill doesn't go far enough. They insist that capital punishment be extended to those who also condemn 12 highly regarded Shiite imams. The only marginally less hard-line Sunnis still dominate parliament and have rejected the opposing sect's demands.

One Shiite MP, Abdulhameed Dashti opposes the bill claiming its provisions go against the teachings of Islam.

"Why are we trying to show Islam as a religion of death and blood when it is actually the opposite of that," he asked.

The new bill is expected to go into effect in one month's time, after it goes through an official approval process.

Earlier this year, an amateur video posted on YouTube entitled "The Innocence of Muslims" depicted the Prophet Mohammed as a panderer, pedophile, womanizer and a homosexual. The Arab world wishes to drive home the point that when one slanders Islam, there will be a steep price to pay.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference, a 56 Islamic member-country organization that sets the standard for the Muslim world has reportedly enacted a ten year plan to ensure that Islamic slander laws are enforced on an international level.

While this goal sounds a bit broad -- and indeed it may never come to fruition, Islamists' goals are very much out in the open.

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