Muslim Brotherhood In Kuwait Dealt Heavy Blow In Parliamentary Elections


Global media is reporting that the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait was reduced to a single seat in the Kuwaiti parliament as a result of recent elections. According to on report:

Sunni Islamists lost ground in Kuwait’s general election but women made history by bagging four seats, their first ever in the 50-member parliament, according to results released on Sunday. Official results from the five electoral districts showed that the two mainstream Sunni Islamic groups were dealt a heavy blow by losing most of their seats they held in the outgoing parliament. The hardline Islamic Salafi Alliance won two seats out of four it held while the Islamic Constitutional Movement, the political arm of Muslim Brotherhood, won a single seat down from three it had in the dissolved house.

The defeat suffered by the Kuwaiti Brotherhood continues the trend discussed in a post from last year when the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) saw its seats in the parliament reduced by half in the midst of strong gains by Salafi and other Islamist factions. This post also discussed possibility that the ICM was damaged by corruption allegations as well as personal weaknesses on the part of the ICM candidates, a switch to a new style of campaigning, and a strategy of “standing above the fray.”

Another analyst has noted that while the ICM has almost been eliminated from the parliament, “independent Islamists” did much better:

I think that an interesting thing to note is the decline of organized political groups — we see the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi Grouping losing seats, while the independent Islamists did fine. We see the Democratic Forum (al-Minbar al-Dimuqrati) endorsing only three candidates — two incumbents, who won, but their most outspoken member, their symbolic leader, Abdallah al-Nibari, lost. The other major liberal group, the National Democratic Alliance (al-tahalluf al-watani al-dimuqrati) did not endorse any candidates this time around. Candidates closely associated with it, like Dr. Asil al-Awadi and Abd al-Rahman al-Anjari, chose to run as independents, not on a “party list.” This is an indicator, it seems to me. The good Islamist politicians (like Walid al-Tabtaba’i and Faysal al-Mislim and Adil al-Sar’awi) and the smart liberal politicians run as independents.

Walid al-Tabtaba’i, identified above as one of the “good Islamist politicians”, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood in the Netherlands. In March 2007, Dutch media reported that al-Tabtaba’i had worked with the founders of the Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam and described him as a “proponent of Islamic punishments such as stoning and amputation.” A previous post reported that the Essalem mosque is operated by the Dutch branch of the Maktoum Foundation, a charity operated by the ruling family of Dubai which has funded other global Muslim Brotherhood projects in Europe. One of the members of the Foundation board is Nooh Al-Kaddo, the director of the Islamic Cultural Center of Ireland which also houses the European Council for Fatwa and Research, chaired by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi.

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