|Wikileaks:||View 03KUWAIT3267 at Wikileaks.org|
|Redacted:||This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KUWAIT 003267 SIPDIS STATE FOR INR/R/MR, NEA/ARP, NEA/PPD, PA, INR/NESA, IIP/G/NEA-SA, INR/B WHITE HOUSE FOR PRESS OFFICE LONDON FOR GOLDRICH, PARIS FOR O'FRIEL SECDEF FOR OASD/PA CINCCENT FOR CCPA USDOC FOR 4520/ANESA/ONE/FITZGERALD-WILKS USDOC FOR ITA AND PTO/OLIA E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: KU, KDMR SUBJECT: KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, JULY 14-21: WOMEN'S POLITICAL RIGHTS; AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO KUWAIT; IRAQ; GUANTANAMO BAY; A/S BURNS VISIT TO KUWAIT 1. SUMMARY: On July 14, Kuwaiti Islamist commentator (and regular al-Jazeera talking head) Mohammed al-Awadi wrote an editorial directed at US Ambassador to Kuwait Richard H. Jones, urging the Ambassador to stop "interfering" in Kuwait's internal affairs, warning that "someone might lose control and try to assassinate you." Liberal editorialists defended the Ambassador as "a dear friend" who has "contributed to maintaining good relations between the two countries." Another Islamist writer calls on Ambassador Jones to convert to Islam. On July 21, all newspapers carry Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad's statement that "women's rights are our goal." While one Islamist MP states that the participation of women in parliament is "prohibited by religion," other commentators believe that Kuwait's democracy and overall development will be "crippled" without the full participation of women in society. One newspaper reported increased security along Kuwait's border with Iraq to prevent Saddam loyalists from entering Kuwait. A Kuwaiti delegation is reported to be heading to Guantanamo Bay to meet with Kuwaiti detainees and US officials. END SUMMARY. 2. News Stories: On July 21, all newspapers front-page Prime Minister Shiekh Sabah Al-Ahmad's statement that, "women's rights are our goal." Al-Qabas reports that Islamist MP Daifallah Bou Ramia stated that the participation of women in the Parliament is "prohibited by religion." Independent Shiia MP Dr. Yousef Zalzala reportedly said that, "democracy will remain crippled without the participation of women." Interior Minister Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad denied reports that Iran had asked Kuwait to receive Al-Qaeda spokesman Suleiman Abu Ghaith, Al-Seyassah reports on July 19. Al-Qabas newspaper reports that a delegation from the Ministry of Interior will be departing for Guantanamo Bay within two weeks to meet with Kuwaiti detainees there and to discuss their situation with American officials. A "security source" tells Al-Anba that security along Kuwait's northern border with Iraq has been increased due to concerns that supporters of Saddam Hussein may attempt to enter Kuwait to carry out sabotage operations. The most important challenges facing education in Kuwait are the elimination of the word "Jihad" from the curriculum and the raising of "an aware generation" of students, Al-Qabas reports. Al-Qabas reports that the National Union of Kuwait Students- U.S. branch is closely monitoring the cases of Kuwaiti students who did not register with the Department of Homeland Security before leaving the United States. On July 17, Al-Rai Al-Aam carried comments by American Ambassador to Kuwait, Richard H. Jones, in response to an editorial by an Islamist writer (see para 3). Ambassador Jones stated that "my hopes for women reflect the principles I believe in." Editorials: 3. "Stay at Your Embassy and Leave Us in Peace" Islamist columnist Mohammed Al-Awadi wrote in independent Al- Rai Al-Aam (7/14): "Perhaps it has become known by now that the [June 24-25] visit by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Burns was not a visit of apology [for the postponement of President Bush's visit]. but rather to encourage the political rearrangement of Kuwait. . This door has to be closed otherwise interventions will increase quantitatively and qualitatively. . The actions of the American Ambassador in Kuwait are no less sensitive than what was done by [Assistant Secretary] Burns. The American Ambassador in Kuwait visited MPs who are against the entry of women into the Kuwaiti parliament. [and] a number of electoral headquarters of Islamist MPs who won in the recent parliamentary elections. . If the objective is acquisition by women of the right to vote and to stand for office, this question will be addressed. . Oh Ambassador, we do not believe in violence. We, as Islamists, do not accept what was done on September 11 or the blasts in Morocco and Riyadh as a means to accomplish change. But you know well how people are angry at America, the supporter of Israeli terror. . What if one of our citizens looses control of himself at one of the electoral tents or diwaniyas and attacks you and attempts to assassinate you? You will shake the security of our country and lead us to countless numbers of problems. Oh Ambassador, stay at your embassy and leave us in peace." 4. "We Welcome Our Friend, Richard Jones" Mohammad al-Qadairi wrote in independent Al-Seyassah (7/19): "The people of Kuwait need to learn about the views of the US administration through its Ambassador. . The admiration of Kuwaiti people [for Ambassador Jones] has increased due to his comments in the fields of economics, politics and development. In such a democratic society, we need sound advice to find solutions for the greater interests of Kuwait. Therefore, it is illogical, or even illegal, to attack his activities. We welcome our dear friend Ambassador Jones to Kuwait's diwaniyas [men's gatherings] and its political forums." 5. "Ambassadors and Colleagues" Sami Al-Nisef wrote in independent Al-Anba (7/19): "Many Kuwaitis were sad for the offense addressed to the Ambassador of the friendly United States by one of our colleagues. The American Ambassador is known for his good manners and his contribution to maintaining good relations between the two countries." 6. "To the American Ambassador: I Call on You to Enter Islam" Islamist Hamed Al-Ali wrote in independent Al-Watan (7/19): "I do not believe that the American Ambassador needs a long time to find how generous and kind the Kuwaiti people are. Our vision would not be completed if we not call upon him to enter Islam. Therefore, in my name and the name of the Kuwaiti people, I call upon you to recognize Islam, to become a Muslim and to defend issues of concern to Muslims and put an end to the greediness of great power nations." 7. "The New MPs and Women's Political Rights" Hassan Al-Musawi wrote in independent Al-Qabas (7/17): "Efforts to ignore women's political rights will negatively affect the country's development process. Some people believe women's political rights are based on `imported' Western thought. Such logic is completely wrong given the fact granting women their political rights is based on a pure, fair Islamic vision." 8. "The Iraqi Human Being" Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi wrote in independent Al-Seyassah (7/21): "It is obvious that the Iraqis are not civilized people. They have looted their museums and institutions instead of protecting them. Iraqis had no rights and lived in fear of Saddam's regime, but now, after the coalition forces allowed them to breathe in freedom, they curse them. Religious scholars in Iraq are agitating Iraqis to kill coalition soldiers. Iraqis have disclosed their true character after having had the world believe that they are civilized people. In fact, they have proven that they are not concerned with their country and have no appreciation for the allied forces or Kuwait which helped them in their liberation." JONES
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