It looks as if Kuwait has another surprise to offer regarding its prominent personalities. The incident this time arose with the singer Ibtisam Hamid, who just announced that she had converted to Judaism, causing another shockwave at the social media in general and in Kuwait in particular.
On the other hand, Kuwaiti blogger May Al-Eidan revealed that the prominent Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmed Al-Qattan has called for the imposition of the apostasy punishment, which carries a death sentence.
In her “Instagram” account, May Al-Aidan has published the video of Basma Al-Kuwaitiya and commented on it by saying that “she is an Iraqi citizen but born in Kuwait.”
It has been reported that Basma’s mother is actually Kuwaiti, while her father is Iraqi, which explains why in most Islamic countries only men can grant citizenship to their children.
In the Egyptian blogosphere, a blogger confessed he couldn’t sleep after watching that video. In his video, Nasser Hikaya even hinted that the singer’s announcement would create a rift within the region. “They are playing a trick here because of the normalization, I will prove that to you.”
He pinned comment on his YouTube account apologizing for his anger and insults towards Kuwaiti singer, “Sorry for my excitement, but I am a man who is jealous of his country and his religion.”
In a video posted on social media, the singer announced her conversion to Judaism. “I am Ibtisam Hamid, also known as Basma Al Kuwaiti, from Kuwait. I announce here leaving Islam, the religion of hypocrisy and terrorism that degrades, oppresses, and violates women, and does not give them their full rights. I proudly announce my embrace of the Jewish religion and declare my opposition and my non-affiliation to the Al-Sabah regime, the oppressive, corrupt, and unjust regime that rejects normalization [with Israel], freedom of religion, and freedom of opinion. [ I announce neither loyalty nor affiliation [to Kuwait or Islam].
BBC’s Arabic program “Trend” presented an interview with the singer in which she revealed that Kuwait issues Travel Documents to individuals not recognized as Kuwaitis yet who were born and have lived in Kuwait for many years.
Basma the Kuwaiti also announced that she has not started yet the process of conversion to Judaism, yet she “believes in it as her faith.”
Earlier this year, a Kuwaiti journalist announced that he was giving up Islam and converting to the Christian faith in a video clip. Mohammad Al Moamen, the son of one of Radio Kuwait’s founders, almost caused a social media explosion while hiding outside Kuwait.
It is indisputable that the developments of the last decade due to the rise of ISIS reflect the true nature of Islam, which explains the increasing instances of conversions among Muslims to other religions in that region.
On the other hand, this leads to more extreme religiosity and fanaticism, leading to more persecution of religious minorities.
SAMIR A. ZEDAN
Samir A. Zedan is a former Senior Counter-Terrorism Analyst at the US Department of State, and a former Development Outreach and Communication Specialist at USAID/Iraq. He has contributed to hundreds of articles published in major media outlets with assignments in the Palestinian Areas, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, and Europe.
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.