Kuwait, a majority-Muslim nation, has banned immigration from five countries amid rising fear of terrorism.
The countries included in Kuwait’s travel ban are Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan.
It should be noted that Pakistan and Afghanistan – banned by Kuwait – are not banned by US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.
The ban was reported by the India Times.
A vast majority of Kuwait’s population is Muslim, and they are considered one of the most tolerant nations in the Middle-East, behind Israel.
Kuwait has large religious minority communities that are afforded legal protections, and Kuwait ranks highly in terms of gender equality compared to most of the Middle-East.
Kuwait’s travel ban points to growing worldwide concerns over terrorism from countries that have become destabilized and are at risk of becoming – or have become – failed states.
Kuwait has banned Syrian nationals since 2011
Syrian citizens have been banned from Kuwait since 2011. Kuwait suffered a terror attack in 2015, when a Shia mosque was bombed. That attack took the lives of 27 Kuwaiti’s.
It will be interesting to see the international response to Kuwait’s travel ban. Trump’s similar ban has been denounced by many as “racist,” with some calling it a “Muslim ban,” despite the fact that a vast majority of the world’s Muslim population is not blocked from entering the United States.
With a Muslim-majority country enacting similar policies, there could be a shift in perceptions – though many critics will continue to denounce Trump’s executive order.
It should be noted that despite intense media criticism, two polls show that more Americans approve of Trump’s immigration ban than disapprove of it.
Time will tell whether more countries follow in the footsteps of America and Kuwait.
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