Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gulf Sectarian Fever Spreads to Kuwait

In case the introduction of GCC troops into Bahrain didn't raise regional tensions high enough, it seems that Kuwait is now joining the party.

After initial speculation that Kuwait would contribute to the "Island Shield" force, the country's prime minister announced finally that no troops would be sent, a decision helped perhaps by the threats of some Shi'a MPs that they would move to quiz him in parliament (as if the Kuwaitis ever need an excuse to do that) if troops were sent. Following the decision, Kuwaiti Shi'a rallied in solidarity with the decision.

Unfortunately, the Kuwaiti prime minister was damned if he did and damned if he didn't, as two Salafi MPs are now moving to question him for NOT sending troops (the same story here). According to one of them, Mohammed Hayef, "The Kuwaiti people will not accept the orders of the Iranian leaders and is demanding that (Kuwaiti) troops are dispatched soon to Bahrain." And another MP, Faisal al-Muslim: "Iran has taken control of Iraq. Today is trying with Bahrain and tomorrow will be Kuwait... We must establish a true Gulf unity to confront Iranian plots." Exactly.

The fray has also spread into the mainstream Kuwaiti media, with the pro-Shi'a newspaper al-Dar running a front-page expose "opening the file" on the offenses of Saudi forces in Bahrain, which include "the expulsion of Shi'i doctors" from Salmaniyyah Hospital, "the demolition of some Shi'a mosques," "beating female Shi'is," and other goodies.

Who is next in line for the sectarian contagion spreading across the Gulf? The Emirates perhaps?

Update: Well, we may as well get Lebanon and Hizballah involved too. Today, at a so-called "Festival of Solidarity with the Arab Peoples," Hasan Nasrallah made special mention of the case of Bahrain in a speech on the Arab uprisings, saying, "I ask some in the Arab and Islamic worlds: Why have you remained mum over the tyranny against our people in Bahrain, is it only because they are Shiites?” The complete text of the speech is available here.

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