blogs and bedouin
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas to those of you who are celebrating today! And to those of you who blog, a less merry bit of news from Kuwait: a proposal to increase the government’s power to monitor blogs produced in Kuwait.
The news comes from a Zawya piece published on the 23rd, and it is a bit third-hand. The Zawya story was taken from Bahrain’s Gulf News, which in turn took its information from a local news site. The blog law proposal is interesting, particularly for its rationale: that what is being written on blogs is more dangerous than what is printed in newspapers and broadcast on television.
The proposal and its rationale are interesting, but so is the sudden segue to Kuwait’s ongoing internal conflict between its bedu and urban (well, the word is “hadari”, but its generally translated here as “urban”) populations.
I have more to say on this, but my mother is having an iPhone crisis, and I think the entire family may need to get involved. Happy reading!
Kuwait’s information minister has urged the parliament to endorse a proposal to monitor blogs, citing social and stability threats.
“Electronic blogs post matters that are now threatening national cohesion and that are much more dangerous than what is being published in newspapers and broadcast on satellite channels. We are therefore working on a draft law to monitor blogs and we urge the parliament to approve it,” Shaikh Ahmad Al Abdullah Al Sabah told Kuwait’s MPs yesterday, Alaan news portal reported.
The minister’s plea came as the country’s social fabric has come under heavy strain following the broadcasting by Al Sour on Saturday of a controversial programme that claimed that tribesmen were not genuine Kuwaitis and that many of them broke the law by holding dual citizenship.
Bedouins make up half of the native population and have 25 MPs in the 50-member parliament.
The programme charged that the only “true and genuine” Kuwaitis were the descendents of those who lived inside the walls surrounding Kuwait City in the 19th century and that the others were not Kuwaitis.
Thousands of Bedouins reacted angrily and staged a rally during which several lawmakers and activists called upon the government to take stringent action against Al Sour and Scoop TV stations for broadcasting the programme and Mohammad Al Juwaihel, the owner of Al Sour …