Kuwaiti MP Nabil Al-Fadhl recently said that the ban on alcohol consumption in his country had led to Kuwait becoming a "hub for narcotics." Alcohol was "part of our customs and heritage" and banning it was a mistake, said Al-Fadhl in his statement, which was posted on the Internet on December 25, 2014 and aroused a controversy in Kuwait.
Following are excerpts:
Nabil Al-Fadhl: We have banned alcohol in Kuwait, although it had been part of our customs and heritage. Were our fathers and forefathers corrupt? In their days, there were alcohol and celebrities in Kuwait. If you talk about heritage – this is our heritage. Why should we try to be more Islamic than the other Arab and Islamic countries, where partying at night and alcohol are allowed? What are we? Angel upon Earth?
Let's take a closer look. Ever since the religious movement appeared on the political scene, and began to issue resolutions and laws – while we all kept submissively silent… What have we gained? We have become the largest hub for narcotics. We made the drug and alcohol dealers richer, but people did not stop partying and consuming alcohol. Whoever can afford to buy alcohol doesn't mind paying 100 or 200 dinars. Only the wretched poor have to settle for drugs.
This is the only thing we have gained from that ideology. I know this. They should do a survey. Has the prostitution and sinning in Kuwait risen or declined compared to the past? Again, this is the result of all the restrictions. One thing always leads to another. What has happened to the level of corruption? Has it risen or fallen since the public has been under the control of the Islamic movement? Donations to charity organizations are being stolen in broad daylight. Whatever happened to the implementation of their religion?
We should be realistic. Some people say in the media that if we allow one thing, we will end up allowing others as well. Allow it, brother. It will do you no harm. There are bars in all the countries of the world. It is very important to rectify mistakes.
[The late Kuwaiti MP] Zeid Al-Kazemi was asked, in his last interview on Kuwait TV, what regrets he had. He said that he regretted having been one of the MPs who had tabled the bill to ban alcohol in Kuwait. He explained: "When I walk along the beach, and I see all the empty bottles of perfume and eau de cologne, I know that we did this to them. We made them drink this."
When you legislate a law, you must examine after a while if it benefits you, and I don't mean just in the economic sense. You are entitled to disagree with me, but you cannot distort our history, our heritage, and the nature of our society. Our society is open by nature, but it has been closed. Following the 1970s and 1980s, the religious movement influenced ideology in Kuwait. We always had an open society. You should see the ads for celebrations they had in those days. Were the Kuwaitis corrupt back then? I dare anyone to stand up and say that the Kuwaiti people were corrupt back then. I'll stick my finger in his eye.