Kuwaiti Shi'ite Commentator Calls To Form Shi'ite Militias In Kuwait After Government Order Restricting Shi'ite Rituals; Prominent Islamic State (ISIS) Supporter Calls To Target Kuwaiti Shi'ites

July 8, 2024

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On July 5, 2024, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry issued an order in advance of the month of Muharram – which began on July 7 – during which Shi'ites commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn son of 'Ali and his family at the Battle of Karbala. The order bans displaying any banner or canvas other than the Kuwaiti national flag at husayniyahs [Shi'ite congregation halls where the mourning for Al-Husayn is observed] and the erection of any structures outside the husayniyahs' walls, declaring that the ministry will implement the law "firmly … to protect everyone's safety."[1]

Kuwait is a Sunni-majority country, with a large Shi'ite minority estimated at 35%-40%.

Supporters Of Iran-Backed Shi'ite Militias Blame Order On Saudi "Wahhabis," Celebrate Defiance Of It

Iraqi Telegram channels supporting Iran-backed Shi'ite militias condemned the order and praised Kuwaiti Shi'ites who have defied it.

On July 6, the "Unit 10,000" Telegram channel commented on the "draconian laws against Shi'ites" which "ban all expressions of mourning on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (peace upon him)," writing: "The Salafi Wahhabi ideology takes over Kuwait by the order of the filthy Saudis."[2]

The "Al-Kornet Al-Kata'ibi" channel posted a video showing a black banner marked "O Husayn" flying over a Kuwaiti husayniyah in defiance of the order.[3] The "Khatam Al-Anbiya' Center for Resistance Media" also shared a video showing Kuwaiti Shi'ites raising "the banner of the Lord of the Martyrs [Husayn] – peace upon him" over one of the "major mosques" in the capital, Kuwait City, "despite the tight restrictions exercised by the Kuwaiti authorities."[4]

Kuwaiti Shi'ite Political Commentator Threatens To Form Shi'ite Militias In Kuwait, "Shake Thrones" Of Wahhabis

On July 7, Kuwaiti Shi'ite political commentator Naser Al-Dawsari published a post on X threatening that the country's Shi'ite minority will establish armed militias if the government restricts their religious ceremonies: "The Shi'ites of Kuwait are stronger than the tyrants. Kuwait will not become a second Bahrain or a second Saudi Arabia. I swear by Allah, inside Kuwait there will be armed resistance factions of Husayn and Karbala, like the [Iraqi] Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or [Yemeni] Houthi Ansar Allah, from the Shi'ite tribes. We advise the Interior Ministry that Husayn is a red line."[5]

On the previous day, Al-Dawsari posted an image of a black banner marked "O Husayn" flying over a Kuwaiti husayniyah, with a canvas on its wall reading, "They killed us by killing Husayn and we killed them with love for Husayn." The commentator wrote: "Whether we land on death or death lands on us, Husayn has ignited a revolution in the hearts of Kuwait's Shi'ites, in spite of the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry. By Allah, we will not submit, whatever you do. We will raise Husayn's banners in the streets and over homes, and the voice of Imam Husayn will rise in the processions. I tell every cowardly Wahhabi: We shall shake your thrones."[6]

Prominent ISIS Supporter Calls For Lone-Wolf Attacks On Kuwaiti Shi'ites

On July 7, prominent pro-Islamic State (ISIS) Telegram channel "Sawt Al-Zarqawi" posted an excerpt from the editorial in the latest issue of official ISIS magazine Al-Naba', addressing lone wolves:[7] "Open the gates of Hell on them [i.e. countries which participate in the war against ISIS] in their homelands. If they have prevented you from joining the abode of the caliphate, then be a brick in its edifice wherever you are and water its seedlings with your pure blood." The channel commented: "Go after the polytheistic temples [ISIS views Shi'ites as polytheists, not Muslims] in the statelet of Kuwait. Take revenge for Allah, His Messenger, and the believers."[8]

In another post from the same day, the channel shared images of Fahd Sulayman Al-Qubbah, whom ISIS referred to by the nom de guerre Abu Sulayman Al-Muwahhid, the perpetrator of a June 2015 suicide bombing at the Imam Ja'far Al-Sadeq Shi'ite mosque in Kuwait City, which was claimed by ISIS' Najd Province.[9] Sawt Al-Zarqawi quoted another excerpt from the editorial, which declared that the perpetrators of attacks on behalf of ISIS are linked to it by ideology and allegiance pledged to its leaders, not organizational ties.[10]

Commenting on Al-Dawsari's post, Sawt Al-Zarqawi wrote: "Explosive belts are a distinguishing mark…"[11]


[1] X, July 5, 2024.

[2] Telegram, July 6, 2024.

[3] Telegram, July 7, 2024.

[4] Telegram, July 8, 2024.

[5] X, July 7, 2024.

[6] X, July 6, 2024.

[8] Telegram, July 7, 2024.

[10] Telegram, July 7, 2024.

[11] Telegram, July 7, 2024.

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