A Shiite candidate, Kahled Al-Shatti, running for public office, urged authorities to cease teaching courses on religion because they tend to wind up being sectarian and result in not only non-Muslim, but Muslims, being categorized as “infidels.” He is running in a constituency in which Shiites constitute half the electorate, and Al Shatti is upset because school books in Kuwait have statements such as declaring “Shiites as infidels for visiting graves.” He recalled that in 1920, Kuwait rulers rejected demands by Wahhabi Salafists who wanted them to expel the “rejectionists,” the name used to describe Shiites.
A persistent issue in many Muslim nations is the close tie between religious leaders and the government. In most cases, if the Muslims are Sunni, then education winds up castigating Shiites along with non-Muslims are less than equal. The reverse holds true if Shiites are in power. Perhaps, separating church and state would aid in developing modern education systems and ending sectarian name calling in schools.