Kuwait government to deport expats who protested over remarks against Prophet Mohammed?

Protestors could be deported to their respective countries for violating the country’s laws prohibiting sit-ins or demonstrations by expats

Kuwait government to deport expats who protested over remarks against Prophet Mohammed
Image: Screenshot grab from Twitter video

The Kuwaiti government has decided to arrest and deport an unspecified number of expats who participated in a protest against the controversial remarks by two former functionaries of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against Prophet Mohammad, reported a newswire service. This is because the Gulf nation’s laws do not allow expats to organise or participate in such demonstrations.

“The detectives are in the process of arresting them and referring to the deportation centre to be deported to their countries and will be banned from entering Kuwait again,” reported Al Rai, a Kuwaiti newspaper. The report did not mention the nationalities of those expatriates who took part in the demonstration. The newspaper that is published from Kuwait also states that instructions have been issued to arrest expats from the Fahaheel area who organised a demonstration after Friday prayers in support of Prophet Muhammad.

Arab News, an English-language daily newspaper published in Saudi Arabia, quoted sources as saying that the protesters will be deported to their respective countries as they violated the laws and regulations of the country which prohibit sit-ins or demonstrations by expats.

Kuwait was one of the several Gulf countries that had summoned the Indian envoy over the remarks of the former BJP functionaries. A week ago, the Kuwait Foreign Ministry had publicly announced that that the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Sibi George was summoned and handed over an official protest note by the Assistant Secretary of State for Asia Affairs expressing Kuwait’s “categorical rejection and condemnation” of the statements issued by an official of the ruling party against the Prophet.

India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), that has almost never backtracked on a slew of hate speeches made by elected officials and party members, made an exception this time after the widespread condemnation of Gulf nations. It was quick to suspend and expel party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal, both of whom had used offensive language against Prophet Mohammed, as it sought to defuse a row over the issue.

Thereafter, the ministry had welcomed the statement issued by the ruling party in India, in which it announced the suspension of Sharma.

Close to a dozen Islamic countries had condemned the controversial remarks uttered on a television debate on May 26. Times Now has since removed the video of the show from public viewing. 

Back in New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the government has made it clear that the remarks do not reflect the views of the government. “We have made it pretty clear that tweets and comments do not reflect views of the government,” MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said at a media briefing soon after the diplomatic fiasco. 

“This has been conveyed to our interlocutors as also the fact that action has been taken by the concerned quarters against those who made the comments and tweets. I do not think I have anything additional to say on this,” he had said.


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