May 8, 2012
Kuwait's parliament has provisionally voted in favor of a legal amendment that could make insulting Allah and the Islamic prophet Mohammed punishable by death, the Gatestone Institute reports. The amendment, approved on April 12, was backed by 46 members of the Kuwaiti Parliament, with four opposed and others abstaining; it needs a second vote and approval from Kuwait's ruler, Sheikh Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, before becoming law. According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, many Kuwaitis are facing trial for blasphemy and, if the law is passed, could be executed -- one example of which is Mohammed Al-Mulaifi, a Kuwaiti writer who was sentenced in April to seven years in jail with hard labor and a fine of US$18,000 for insulting the Shi'ite Imam on Twitter. Additionally in Kuwait, increasing restrictions are being placed on Christian worship and religious freedoms, and parliament members have recently suggested banning swimsuits and requiring women to wear headscarves in public.