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Kuwait to screen foreign religious scholars

Committee to scrutinise names of those giving Ramadan lectures or leading prayers

Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait has set up a committee to choose foreign religious scholars who will be allowed to give lectures during Ramadan.

In keeping with a long-standing tradition, religious scholars from other countries are invited to deliver sermons, give public lectures or lead prayers in some mosques during Ramadan. However, in recent years and as a consequence of sectarianism and increasing politicisation of religious speeches, several scholars have sparked controversies. These sectarian arguments are fuelled by the online, broadcast and print media and end up dividing society.

“The committee will sift through the names of the scholars who will be allowed to come to Kuwait during Ramadan,” sources from the Endowments and Islamic Affairs Ministry told local daily Alem Al Yawm.

“Only the names of the scholars who have not caused any controversy or issue within Kuwaiti society or who are not on the wanted list of the state will be endorsed,” the sources said.

The committee will have two weeks to draw up the final list.

Ramadan is expected to being on July 9. The date is based on the lunar calendar and on the sighting of the crescent marking the start of the new month.