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Preacher suspended over Muslim Brotherhood support

Mosques must not be used to divide society, ministry warns

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Caption: Shafi Al Ajami - Al Qabas
Gulf News

Manama: Kuwait has suspended a controversial preacher from delivering Friday sermons following statements deemed supportive of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt.

Shafi Al Ajami was informed in a formal letter that he could no longer deliver speeches until further notice, Kuwaiti media reported on Tuesday.

Sources at the endowments ministry said that the preacher had used his Twitter account to post his remarks about developments in Arab countries, local Arabic daily Al Qabas said.

“The ministry is keen that preachers do not use mosques to divide the society or promote any form of sectarianism,” the sources said. “Imams and Friday preachers should serve as role models in their ideas and social orientations,” they said.

Kuwait has welcomed the change of political leadership in Egypt that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood and said that it would support it.

Nine Egyptians who last week took part in pro-Muslim Brotherhood rallies in Kuwait City have been deported and more could follow as the authorities continued their investigation of the demonstrations.

Foreigners involved in organising or participating in “illegal rallies” in Kuwait are often deported.

At one of the demonstrations, Al Ajami reportedly said that $100 (Dh367) would be given to each of the families of the victims of the army assault in Egypt.

Hundreds of people were killed on Wednesday in the clashes that pitted the military against supporters of deposed President Mohammad Mursi.

In June Al Ajami said that a 12,000-man army was being raised and armed to confront members of the Lebanese military group Hezbollah.

The “mujahideen” will not be afraid to fight and will take on members of the Lebanese party and will torture them, Al Ajami said.

The “mujahideen” have large sections of lands in Syria under their control, he added.

His speech prompted angry reactions from lawmakers who said that his statements incited sectarianism and deepened tension.

Earlier this week, a Kuwaiti manager of an Islamic TV channel was fired by the channel’s owner, Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal for alleged membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Waleed claimed that the firing of Tarek Suwaidan was due to the channel’s non-partisan policies.