06 February 2008

Kuwait plans to build synagogue

The Britain-based architect Eric Kuhne has announced plans to build a "City of Silk" in Kuwait as the country's own take on the historical Silk Road. The planned city is to lie on the northern shore of Kuwait Bay (most urban development in Kuwait so far has been concentrated to the south of the bay), and is to be 200 sq. km in size. According to Kuhne, the City of Silk is "the largest single real estate development in the Middle East."

In the commercial section of the city, which is to be crisscrossed with canals, there are plans to build a 1,001-m tall tower recalling the One Thousand and One Nights. At the top levels of the tower, there are plans to build three side-by-side houses of worship: a mosque, a church and a synagogue. The idea behind the move is to highlight the "unity" of the monotheistic religions (Arab Times).

It's great news if freedom of worship is to be increased in Kuwait, but I still wonder how the opening of a synagogue would play out, especially if there's yet another humanitarian disaster in Palestine around the time when it is inaugurated.


Anonymous said...

Re Kuwait is building a synagogue, along with a church and mosque.

How will this play out with regards to the ongoing Palestinian issue, you asked/commented??

Don't confuse Israel with ALL/Most Jews.
Most Jews CHOOSE not to live in Israel. Fact.
Hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens aren't Jewish. Fact

Why don't you draw a parallel with the Serb genocide against Muslim Kosovo citizens and say, 'How will building a new church in Kuwait play out with the people of Kosovo or Chechnya'??

You know how offensive it is when western politicians and media hint at ALL Muslims being borderline radicals and fundamentlists?
Well the same anti semitic inferences are just as bad!!

Rashed said...

To Anonymous: Thank you for your comment. I agree that anti-Semitism is just as bad as Islamophobia. However, I was certainly not trying to be anti-Semitic in what I said. What I was trying to say is that,

whether we like it or not, people tend to confuse the policies of the State of Israel with the views of the Jewish people (or the adherents of the Jewish religion). Hence, I was expressing the fear that there might be a backlash against the synagogue in Kuwait should something bad happen in Palestine. But you're right: Israel and Judaism are two different things, just as Islam and any particular Muslim country are different things.

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