GULF - KUWAIT
Kuwaiti writer says his controversial article has been misunderstood
- By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Manama: A Kuwaiti writer who has come under intense fire for "offensive remarks" has apologised to Shiites, claiming that his article had been misunderstood.
"If some Shiite brothers misunderstood paragraphs in my article as a denigration of the Awaited Mahdi, I would like to apologise to them," Mohammad Al Milaifi said.
"I have never scorned anyone from the family of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and in fact I have written often times about Al Mahdi," he said, quoted by Kuwaiti daily Al Watan.
The Awaited Mahdi is venerated as the Saviour of Humanity who will appear during the End Times. Angry protestors have staged a public rally to press the government to take action against the controversial writer, including stripping him of his Kuwaiti citizenship.
A new rally is planned for next Friday if the government fails to act, they said. However, Al Milaifi, said that he had been shocked by the level of insults against him and his family over the controversial remarks.
"I do not want to fuel sedition or chaos and I should hate to see Kuwaitis focus on this issue instead of more important ones, but I will sue those who insulted me or my mother by using highly offensive adjectives," he said.
Al Watan reported on Sunday that a lawyer, Ali Al Ali, said that several Shiites would file suits against Al Milaifi. "We do not want a timid apology or a coy condemnation. We demand decisive action that includes stripping him of the Kuwaiti nationality," he said, quoted by the daily.
In September 2010, Kuwait stripped Yasser Al Habeeb, a controversial religious figure, of his citizenship, accusing him of "committing heinous crimes that prejudiced Kuwaitis and Muslims and threatened social peace."
Al Habeeb who lives in self-imposed exile in London since 2004 has sparked controversy after he hosted a ceremony in his London office in August to make disparaging remarks against Aisha, Prophet Mohammad's wife. Aisha is venerated by Muslims as the Mother of Believers and Al Habeeb's insults to her integrity and honour triggered vociferous protests and rallies by Kuwaitis.