Kuwaiti PM seeks to axe controversial television serial



The assurance came during a meeting between Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah and some members of parliament who warned that the serial, scheduled to be broadcast in the forthcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan, incites sectarianism.



“The prime minister assured us that the issue will be resolved. Our understanding is that the government will use its good offices to stop the serial,” leading Shia MP Adnan Abdulsamad, who attended the meeting, said.


The serial entitled “Sins Have A Price” is due to air on the Dubai-based Arab MBC station during Ramadhan, which is expected to start on Thursday.



Earlier yesterday, two unidentified men threw stones at the Kuwait offices of the Saudi-owned MBC and the Dubai-based Al Arabiya stations, but no casualties were reported. “Two people dressed in track suits threw a number of rocks at the offices housing the two channels” without causing any casualties or damage, Al Arabiya’s chief reporter in Kuwait, Saad Al Ajmi said. “They escaped in a waiting car. We have informed the police.” The attack is apparently linked to the serial which Shia clerics and politicians in Kuwait have accused of insulting their branch of the faith.



The serial highlights a form of marriage, known as “temporary marriage”, particular to Shia Islam under which a man and a woman may wed for any period of time from just an hour to 99 years. This form of marriage is banned under the Sunni branch of Islam. Sunni and Shia activists and lawmakers in this Gulf emirate, which is Sunni-ruled but has a significant Shia minority, have called for the programme to be banned as an insult to Shias.



“The serial includes a total distortion of Shiism. It deals with faith issues in a distorted manner. It also incites sectarianism,” between the two major branches of Islam, Abdulsamad said.



The Kuwaiti producer of the serial, Nayef Al Rashed, told Al Arabiya television overnight that the serial was not against Shias. “We wanted to highlight negative aspects of social practices. We never intended to distort any faith,” Rashed said.



Deputy secretary general of the Shia Justice and Peace Alliance Abdulwahed Khalfan said the serial also depicts “temporary marriage” as a form of prostitution.



“It deliberately shows as if our girls are practicing prostitution…. It contains derogatory scenes against Shia sacred places and leaders,” Khalfan said.


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