الخميس , يونيو 3 2021

Kuwaitis pray for unity after attack

Prayers at grand mosque in Kuwait City, 3 July 2015

Sunni and Shia worshippers prayed side by side

Sunni and Shia Muslims in Kuwait have held prayers together in a show of unity, one week after a suicide bomber killed 27 people at a Shia mosque.

“Extremism has led to this bloodshed,” Sunni Imam Waleed al Ali said in a sermon at Kuwait’s grand mosque.

Sunni and Shia worshippers stood side by side at the mosque, each praying according to their own traditions.

Last week’s attack was the bloodiest on the country’s Shia minority in recent history.

The Islamic State group – which regards Shia Muslims as heretics – said it was behind the attack.

Among those attending prayers at the grand mosque on Friday was Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

“This prayer is a prayer of unity,” said Shia member of parliament Adnan Abdulsamad.

“This heinous crime only brings us further strength and tolerance. Thank God it made our enemies fools. Were they under the illusion that with this crime they would create discord?”

Authorities in Kuwait have tightened security in the wake of the attack, and detained dozens of people.

They said the bomber was a Saudi citizen who flew into the country hours before carrying out the attack.

Kuwait has one of the biggest Shia communities in the region, but any sectarian friction has so far been less visible than in Saudi Arabia or Bahrain.

In Bahrain on Friday, joint prayers were held in Diraz, a Shia village west of Manama.

Justice and Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ali Al-Khalifa said they were a show of “unity in the face of those plotting against the Arab and Islamic world”.

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