By Majd Othman
KUWAIT: With the start of work of the new National Assembly in Kuwait, approval was given to reinstate the committee for negative phenomena to tackle negative behaviors in the local community and fight scourges that are widespread in the community, such as drugs, domestic violence and harassment, according to the committee.
The reestablishment of this committee led to conflicting opinions among citizens. Opponents believe it interferes in the personal liberties of an individual, which is not the role of the Assembly, while supporters consider it a necessary step to reduce negative behaviors that are increasing in the Kuwaiti community, such as inappropriate clothing, homosexuality and immoral content presented to youths by media platforms.
Kuwait Times spoke to people and asked for their opinion about this committee and whether it should have legal powers. Amal Abdullah, a 58-year-old Kuwaiti, said she supports the creation of this committee. “We as parents and grandparents no longer have any kind of power over our children to raise them to have good manners, due to the wrong thoughts that are affecting them negatively,” she said. “We are not against development and openness or improving the standard of living, but we are a conservative society and have traditions.”
Regarding the negative behaviors that she thinks the committee should eliminate, Amal pointed out to “indecent clothes that do not reflect our culture”, adding the committee should set laws that prevent shops from selling these types of outfits. “The committee should have a supervisory role over media and video games that have negative messages affecting our children’s minds, such homosexuality, violence and leaving their religion under the pretext of freedom,” she pointed out.
Mai Humood, a 32-year-old Kuwaiti, said although she does not approve of many of the behaviors among the new generation, pointing out to homosexuality as an example, she stressed she is against the formation of this committee. “We have traditions that everyone is committed to. We don’t need guardianship from any committee. If they really want to change negative behaviors, it should be through strong awareness campaigns and rehabilitation of the society all over again, away from the weak awareness campaigns that we are used to since long,” she said.
Bader Mohammad, a 27-year-old Kuwaiti, said he supports the establishment of the committee. He said although he is a young man, he believes that the freedom that some people are claiming is not acceptable. “The country is suffering from corruption, theft of public funds and nepotism, which are also negatively affecting the society. Therefore, this committee should have legal powers and not only participate in setting laws and holding awareness campaigns,” he said.
“The role of this committee should be to supervise both genders in the community. We are a conservative community that respects women, and we don’t want to limit their freedom. But there are traditions and religion we have to respect and follow, which should be applied on men as well,” Bader told Kuwait Times.
Abdelaziz Ali, a 28-year-old Kuwaiti, said that some of the negative behaviors affecting the youth include the spread of smoking and vaping among girls, which is a result of a lack of supervision on advertisements that urge them to do it. “It is affecting both their health and violates the traditions we were raised on,” he said.
Abdelaziz added that those violating these traditions are not only women, but also men, who are attracted to things that are against religion, such as wearing tattoos, which is spreading among young girls as well. “Not to mention girls wearing skimpy dresses at malls and everywhere, which is inappropriate and provocative.” He pointed out that the best solution to prevent these negative behaviors is through the committee imposing fines. “Anyone who fears paying money will adhere to the law. So I agree that this committee should have legal powers,” he added.