Kuwait lawmaker facing legal action for supporting sale of alcohol

Kuwait lawmaker facing legal action for supporting sale of alcohol

[JURIST] Nabil al-Fadhl, a member of the Kuwait [BBC backgrounder] parliament said Sunday that he may be charged with insulting the predominantly-Muslim nation after making a comment in support of the legalized sale of alcohol. The lawmaker first introduced a proposal to repeal a Kuwaiti law banning dance in public music concerts. In discussion for this proposal, an Islamist lawmaker questioned whether al-Fadhl would also suggest that alcohol be made available to concert-goers. To this, al-Fadhl remarked that he saw nothing wrong with that option, as Kuwaitis were historically known to drink alcohol on many occasions. Though al-Fadhl has maintained that he was only speaking factually, his comment was immediately condemned by the press and fellow lawmakers. Charges have been filed [AP report] against al-Fadhl for insulting the honor of Kuwaiti society and history. Meanwhile, al-Fadhl has never proposed a law to legalize the sale of alcohol, nor does he plan to.

Islam views any consumption of alcohol to be a sin, and some Muslim countries have banned [Economist report] its sale and consumption altogether. Kuwait’s parliament was the first country to implement abolition. The nation employed a three-stage process [Gulf News report] to ban alcohol, beginning in 1963. The parliament first imposed heavy regulation, then banned alcohol and finally criminalized its consumption in 1983. Meanwhile, alcohol is legally sold [NPR report] in countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.