JW: The ordinary understanding of slander in the West is that it involves making false charges that defame another person. But in Islamic law, the definition of slander doesn’t involve falsehood. The Shafi’i manual of Islamic law ‘Umdat al-Salik defines “slander” as “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike.” Nothing is said about whether or not what is said is true — only that the person would dislike it. And this is based on a statement of Muhammad to the same effect.
Once one understands that concept of slander, it is easier to see why Muslims in the West so quickly and easily characterize speech about the jihad and Islamic supremacism as slanderous and insulting to Islam, even when what has been said is demonstrably accurate: one notable case was CAIR’s war against National Review, and another was Al-Arabiya’s attack on my book The Truth About Muhammad, but the crowning example is the response to Geert Wilders’ film Fitna.
In any case, it is not surprising that Kuwait would criminalize “insults” to Islam, but it is just another step forward for those forces that are pushing for the same kind of measures in the West.
“Kuwait prepares web law,” from AMEInfo, July 29:
Kuwait’s prosecutor general, Hamed al-Othman, has said that he has finalised a Bill that will criminalise the promotion of vice, incitement against the country’s leadership and insulting Islam on the internet. In an interview with Al-Qabas newspaper he said that offenders would face up to a year in prison and/or a fine. If the victims are minors the prison term rises to seven years.
Why do minors get a longer sentence? I don’t know, but perhaps it is to allow time for their minds to be formed in a more reliably Islamic direction.