US embassy cable - 03KUWAIT3267

KUWAIT MEDIA REACTION, JULY 14-21: WOMEN'S POLITICAL RIGHTS; AMERICAN AMBASSADOR TO KUWAIT; IRAQ; GUANTANAMO BAY; A/S BURNS VISIT TO KUWAIT

Identifier: 03KUWAIT3267
Wikileaks: View 03KUWAIT3267 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Kuwait
Created: 2003-07-21 15:34:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KU KDMR
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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