The success of Salafists — that supposed Tiny Minority of Extreme Extremists — in Egypt and Tunisia is emboldening the movement elsewhere. Here again, as is often the case for women’s rights in particular, is the argument that what Islamic law provides for is all you can or should have, and to presume to offer more is to play Allah.
Worse yet, if they celebrate national holidays, this is the time of year where they have to remember that if not for the Great Satan, they’d be building statues of a mustachioed Iraqi.
“Kuwait centre calls for ban on national celebrations,” from Gulf News, February 19:
Manama: A Kuwaiti Salafi centre has called for a ban on the country’s national celebrations, claiming they violated religious ethics.
Kuwait this week celebrates its National Day and Liberation Day and employees have been given four days off, including the weekend, to mark the occasion.
“The so-called festivities and the accompanying concerts, dances and waste of thousands of dinars are against our religion,” Fuad Al Rifai, the head of Wathakker centre, said. “Muslims celebrate only two feasts, at the end of Ramadan and the Sacrifice during the pilgrimage season. Any other festivity is totally alien and should not be upheld by Muslims,” he said.
Muslims do not have to mark national occasion to show they love their country or have a high sense of patriotism, he said.
“There is no doubt about the love citizens have for their country, but the focus should be on complying with the values and ethics of the religion,” Al Rifai said.
The call is likely to wade into controversy as Kuwaitis are getting ready for a long weekend of celebrations.