After a deadly suicide attack by the Islamic State (IS) group on a Shiite mosque in Kuwait City killed 26 people and wounded 202 others last month, some people in Kuwait are getting panicky and changing their lifestyles. The Grand Mosque refused to allow women to pray Fajr prayers during Ramadan because of security measures. Meanwhile, fear is driving some people to stay away from public places. “I am afraid now to go to mosques and malls, especially The Avenues, because it is always crowded. Every Friday I try to prevent my husband from going for prayers. I used to pray in the mosque every week, but now I am afraid to go,” Asma Mohammed, a housewife, told Kuwait Times.
Hamed Al-Hussaini is not only scared for his life, he also of his family. “I was planning to bring my wife and children to Kuwait. But after this bombing, I do not feel that it is safe. I am now nervous and hesitant,” he said. Yet, Hussaini acknowledged that people must not surrender to fear and should instead find ways to live life normally. “These criminals are trying to spread terror in Kuwait, and their plan will succeed only if people are terrorized, but we must not be. Maybe I should not worry, since things are normal here and I should not let such incidents prevent me from enjoying my daily life,” he said.
The terrorist attack had also spoiled the otherwise peaceful atmosphere that is generally associated with Ramadan for many people. “IS destroyed the holy month of Ramadan. We were always happy in Ramadan every year,” rued Suad Khalaf. Rana Salam, 35, has a different attitude. “Kuwait will remain safe and secure. We felt bad for the people who died, but it was their destiny. We all have a certain time to die, so we will not be afraid of anything. Security is now tightened everywhere, but unfortunately people of some nationalities are not allowed to enter Kuwait. Otherwise, things are normal in Kuwait and there is no need to panic,” she said. Muslims are not the only ones worried. Samar Usama, a Christian, was shocked by the suicide bombing at the Shiite mosque. “I was shocked, but then I became certain that IS is not Muslim at all. IS members are hypocrites – they love Islam and want an Islamic country, but then they bombed Muslims during Ramadan inside a mosque! Even infidels would not dare do such a thing and kill their own people. They did not even try to go to Palestine to bomb Israel there!” she exclaimed.
For Tunisian Chahd Abdemoula, that was an unforgettable day. “They attacked Kuwait and Tunisia that day. I could not cook or do anything. I was crying with my daughter. They did the same in Europe too, so it is not about Christians, Muslims, Sunnis or Shiites,” she recalled.
Back to normal
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior’s central operations will be working on a 24/7 basis and will be ready to receive any reports on its hotline number 112, Relations and Security Media Director Brigadier Adel Al-Hashash said. He added that the security situation has returned to normal in Kuwait. Hashash highlighted that the ministry has taken necessary security measures and procedures and enforced new security plans, especially near shopping malls, children’s arcades, parks, recreation centers and crowded places. Hashash assured residents and citizens that it is safe to go to public places and to pray. He encouraged residents and citizens to follow the rules.