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Kuwait bans controversial religious figures
May 19, 2016, 2:31 pm
Temporary suspension of visit visas for some nationalities

Kuwait would not grant visas to religious figures known for their controversial views planning to visit the country during the holy month of Ramadan. Religious figures have traditionally visited the country to deliver sermons and lectures during the month of fasting and greater piety.

However, the interior ministry at a meeting with other government entities and security agencies on Tuesday to prepare for Ramadan said it wanted the endowments ministry to provide it with the names of the religious figures it plans to invite to Kuwait.

The interior ministry explained it wanted ample time to check the backgrounds of the religious figures before it issues its decision on whether to allow them into the country.

The ministry is also planning to limit visits by people from specific countries to Kuwait during Ramadan. The list, so far, includes Syrians, Jordanians, Iraqis and Yemenis.

The meeting also recommended that donations in cash would be banned at all mosques and places of worship and that they would be limited to charitable associations licenced by the endowments ministry,

Tents, traditionally set up near mosques during Ramadan as an extra space used for breaking the fast at sunset collectively or to hold gatherings, will be strictly banned and any offender will be held accountable, the meeting warned.

The interior ministry stressed its zero-tolerance policy towards begging and reiterated that it would be strict in granting visit visas to ensure that foreigners do not take advantage of the holy month to enter Kuwait and engage in the lucrative activity of asking money from people.

Foreigners who are caught begging will be deported and will be banned from entering any other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) country in the future. The GCC comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Money transfers abroad and the names of the senders and receivers will be strictly monitored, the meeting heard. Surveillances of mosques and places of worship will be reinforced during Ramadan and the festive celebrations that follow it, the interior ministry said.

Ramadan, the most sacred month for Muslims, is expected to start on June 6. The start and end of the ninth month on the lunar Islamic calendar depends on the sighting of the moon.

Source: Gulf News

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