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Kuwait academic charged with blasphemy over TV interview

A prominent female academic and human rights activist in Kuwait has been charged with blasphemy.

Sheikha al-Jassem was summoned to the public prosecutor's office after legal complaints were filed against her over a recent interview she gave on TV. She asserted that the constitution of Kuwait should be above the Quran and Islamic law in governing the country. The public prosecutor still has the discretion to decide whether or not Ms Jassem will be put on trial. 


The interview was broadcast on Kuwaiti Al-Shahed TV on 8 March. Its theme was the rise of Islamic extremism. During the interview, Ms Jassem was asked about radical Islamists who said that religion was more important than the Kuwaiti constitution. She responded by saying that this was dangerous and that, in her opinion, politics and religion should be kept apart. 

'They were terrifying me'

Ms Jassem made reference to the violence across the Middle East and divisions between Sunni and Shia Muslims. She said that if you just went back to holy books and relied on them, society could not move forward. 
Her remarks provoked a storm of attacks against her, spearheaded by Islamist members of Kuwait's parliament.

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