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Kuwaiti MP calls for renaming Al Banna avenue

Lawmaker says honour should not be for Muslim Brotherhood founder

Gulf News

Manama: A Kuwaiti lawmaker has courted controversy by pressing for renaming an avenue in Kuwait City honouring Hassan Al Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

“The avenue should be renamed after Kuwaiti martyr Ahmad Qabazerd,” MP Nabeel Al Fadhel said. “God has given martyrs a distinguished and unmatched status and they hold a special significance in our collective conscience. It is therefore natural that honouring Kuwait’s martyrs should be in line with this premise and that streets and avenues in Kuwait be named after them,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Rai on Thursday.

However, the MP added that the renaming would also mean that Al Banna’s name would be dropped.

“The latest developments have indicated that the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to the security of Kuwait and its fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. The residents of Rumaitha where Al Banna’s avenue is located have had enough of having a major avenue named after him. The avenue should be named after a person from the area,” he said.

The MP has been among the most vocal lawmakers warning against the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a political power in the Gulf after Islamist regimes took over in Tunisia and Egypt.

Al Banna, an Egyptian schoolteacher and imam born in 1906, founded the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential Muslim revivalist associations in the 20th century, in 1928.

The movement emphasised concerns that appealed to a variety of constituencies, and used religious and social networks to generate impressive loyalty among its members and to attract new recruits in Egypt and in other Arab countries where it had offshoots.

Al Banna was assassinated in 1949.