To my avid readers, those who are celebrating, I hope you had a Merry Christmas, and to all my readers, I hope you have a wonderful year ahead of you. Many people use this time to reflect on their actions, feelings and their lives. Each person is on a different journey, and each person has different needs and different wants, and I am not one to preach, but let us keep this in mind this holiday season. Let us understand that different people have had different experiences that shape the person that they are. Let us forgive and be kind to one another.
Freedom of religion
Question: Do people have the freedom to practice their religion in Kuwait freely?
Fajer: This is a really tough question to answer. I have said this repeatedly in my column, but feel the need to share it again. We are very lucky in Kuwait to have such a diverse community.
The Kuwaiti constitution states in Article 35 [Freedom of Religion and Belief]: Freedom of belief is absolute. The state protects the freedom of practicing religion in accordance with established customs, provided that it does not conflict with public policy or morals.
This unfortunately has been interpreted differently by different organizations and parliament members, and is probably why you have heard negative remarks about adherents of other religions practicing their beliefs in Kuwait. We have mosques and churches in Kuwait, but I do hope in the future we see more official worshiping spaces for all the other religions that are present in Kuwait.
Dropping the cases
Question: I read your previous articles where you mention forgiveness. I have cases against family members and want to forgive them. What can I do, as I also want to protect myself in the future? Can I drop the case?
Fajer: I understand that when we have differences, it is good to have the option of being able to go to a professional for advice or even to court, but in my opinion, it is good to be able to settle things amicably. It will save you money and energy.
Now to answer your question of if you can drop the case or not, this depends on the type of case. For example, you can drop civil cases, but you cannot drop some criminal cases, as the public prosecution is involved in the case as well. So by law, the case can only be dropped by the public prosecution even if the crime happened against you. Also, depending on the case, it might be wise to draft an agreement or have an undertaking for the future.
With that said, let us remember to be kind, thoughtful and considerate, and let us forgive. Happy holidays!
Should you have any questions or concerns, or you require a consultation, please email me at [email protected].
By Attorney Fajer Ahmed