Thursday, February 17, 2005

Kuwaitis Unsupportive of Islamic Terrorism

The Kuwait Times has an enlightening story concerning the reaction of one group of young men to recent terrorist incidents there. A couple of quotes:
"All the Kuwaiti people are against terrorism and its destructive actions," says Abdullah Fadli, a student of the Quran with a long straggly beard and wire-rimmed glasses. "Those who call themselves radicals are nothing more than criminals and deviants."

"The resistance in Iraq are all followers of Saddam Hussein and have nothing to do with jihad and Islam," says Mubarak. "We support stability and it is very important for the American forces to stay for the time being."
What makes these quotes even more interesting is that the men are members of a Salafist sect - fundamentalist Muslim purists, just like al-Qaeda. This story does a good job of explaining why Americans are more welcome in Kuwait than in most other parts of the middle east.
In contrast to the pervasive anti-American sentiment found in many Arab countries, most Kuwaitis tend to have a benign view of the US, a legacy of Washington's role in driving Iraqi occupation troops out of their country in 1991. They reject the brutal insurgency in Iraq and regard the presence of some 25,000 American troops in Kuwait as a necessary bulwark against external threats.
Of course Amer al-Enezi, the captured terrorist who was involved in most of the recent violence in Kuwait and who died in custody was one Kuwaiti who was not friendly to America.