The top official in the government of predominantly Muslim Kuwait has reportedly ordered the removal of a Christmas tree from a privately-owned supermarket in an apparent response to an anti-Christmas campaign launched by a member of parliament who considers the ornament un-Islamic.
However, not everyone in the Kuwaiti government shares their disdain for Christmas.
The Kuwait Times reports:
MP Fadhl… strongly criticized a decision by the Social Affairs and Labor Minister Hind Al-Subaih ordering the removal of a Christmas tree from… [the al-Dasma Supermarket], which is run by a private investor.
Fadhl also called for declaring Christmas a public holiday and for erecting a very large Christmas tree on Safat Square, the largest square in downtown Kuwait City that has important historical significance.
The report about the minister’s order to remove the Christmas tree came after the Arabic-language Kuwaiti daily al-Jaridah al-Kuwaitiyyah highlighted a campaign led by MP Osama al-Shahin to remove the Christmas tree from the supermarket in a satirical article, according to a translation.
MP Shahin, also spelled Shaheen, has been described as an Islamist by Gulf News.
The satirical article reads:
Thanks be to God Who has blessed Islam with the courage of MP Ousama al-Shahin, who led a battle that will be immortalized in the history of great conquests, as he was able to defeat the government and the foreigners, upholding the banner of religion above al-Dasma Supermarket.
The details of this blessed conquest began when the supermarket placed a Christmas tree, to celebrate the coming of Christmas (God protect us) in an attempt to insult Islam and humiliate muslims. Thereupon the fires of jealousy raged in the mind of this great warrior, MP Ousama Shahin, who… addressed the Social Affairs minister (in an angry tone, I imagine). As the minister and her government then shook in terror… They heeded his word, removing the tree from Muslim lands.
According to the CIA World Factbook, about 77 percent of the Kuwaiti population is Muslim, 17 percent is Christian, and the rest is classified as “other and unspecified.”
The Kuwait Times points out that the there are several major churches in the country.