Episode 9: Kuwait: Walking the Sunni-Shia Tightrope
In 2015, a lone terrorist from an affiliate of Daesh or Islamic State (often referred to as ISIS) bombed a mosque in Kuwait City where the majority of where the majority of worshippers were from the Shia sect. While the overt motive for this act of terrorism was payback for Kuwait's opposition to Daesh, the attack introduced sectarian violence to a country where the Sunni majority and the rather large Shia minority co-existed in relative harmony.
In the wake of the mosque bombing incident, the Kuwaiti government passed several anti-terrorism laws. But some observers like Human Rights Watch claim the laws are designed to suppress political dissent. So how effective are these laws at reducing the risk of terrorist attacks in Kuwait? Are such laws the way to maintaining social harmony in a multicultural, or at least, a bi-sectarian population?
Dr Kylie Baxter, a specialist in middle-east and Islamic politics from Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne, answers the above and other questions about the fallout from the Arab Spring.
Dr Kylie Baxter