Ahmad Sarraf doesn’t mean that the Islamic State has a presence in Kuwait. He means something much more sweeping: that throughout Islamic history, there have been armed movements committing atrocities in the name of Islam and in accord with its teachings. He is decrying the Islamic world’s failure to acknowledge those atrocities, and is right: he is one of the first Muslims I have ever seen doing so.
“Kuwaiti Writer Ahmad Sarraf: We Refuse to Acknowledge Our Crimes; ISIS Has Always Been Here,” MEMRI, January 29, 2016:
In a recent TV interview, Kuwaiti writer and businessman Ahmad Sarraf said that the West had acknowledged its Colonialist crimes and had made reparations for the crimes of Nazism, and posed the question “whether we, as Arabs and Muslims, are also ready to acknowledge that we had committed atrocities.” “We call these atrocities ‘conquests’ or ‘raids.’ We give them a religious title,” he said. In the Sky News Arabia interview, which aired on January 29, Sarraf further said that while ISIS is “a new name on the scene, there have been dozens or hundreds of Islamic movements… All these groups were considered to be the ISIS of their times.” He said that while he has “no sympathy whatsoever” for the Iranian regime, he did not think that the danger today lies in Shiite terrorism. “We have Sunni terrorism, and the Shiite terrorism is like the icing on the cake,” he said.