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A journalist has been sentenced by a court in Kuwait to three years in jail for two Twitter messages that offended Shiite Muslims.

The Middle East Media Research Institute documents that ‘Abdallah Al-Hadlaq, a reformist who is critical of Iran and Hamas and previously expressed a positive view of Israel, was prosecuted for two tweets in 2018.

He was accused of “fanning controversies among the sectors of society,” meaning the disagreements between Sunni Muslims and Shiites.

He had posted last year one statement that ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, a figure who is thought by Shiites to be “the rightful heir” of Muhammad, and his sons “had caused the Sunni-Shiite divide in Islam.”

The statement explained that ‘Ali bin Abi Talib deliberately had delayed swearing loyalty to the first caliph in Islam, Abu Bakr.

Al-Hadlaq’s articles often appear in the Kuwait daily Al-Watan, but the news publication occasionally has removed them after the fact for the controversies they have stirred.

“Due to his positions, he was included in a list of Arab writers who were called ‘traitors’ and ‘Israel’s ambassadors in the Arab world,’ which was published in 2009 on Arab websites that support the resistance axis. The list was published after, during the Israel-Gaza war in December 2008-January 2009, the Israeli Foreign Ministry published articles by these writers criticizing Hamas and the resistance axis, without the writers’ knowledge or consent,” MEMRI reported.

His writings have included: “The fascist Persian Iranian turbaned regime that rules Tehran … interferes in every single matter, and deposits the country’s resources in the hands of those with whom it is pleased, or those who guarantee its continued existence, primarily the Persian [Islamic] Revolutionary Guards [Corps] [IRGC]. When the sanctions on Iran are lifted, and the billions return to it, the people, who is bowed under the yoke of oppression and poverty, knows that it will receive a mere pittance from it, and that the situation will remain the same or even grow worse.”

He lamented that the wealth of Iran “is not reflected in the lives of its residents; only the tiniest fraction of it reaches their pockets.”

“The men of the Persian regime and the IRGC are the unrivalled leaders of the [economic] battle – while the sanctions have hurt all Iranians, they have greatly benefited the IRGC, because after foreign firms left Iran, much of what they had been doing was taken over by the Persian IRGC, allowing it to increase its influence in the country and to take over the billions belonging to the Iranian people.”

The real enemy of Gulf states is not Israel, he insisted, but Iran.

“To all those who think the Persian state (Iran), and the regime of the Rule of the Imprudent, [namely] the dictatorial fascist Persian regime which controls it, is a friendly country, whereas Israel is an enemy country, I say that a prudent enemy is better than an imprudent one. The state of Israel and its various governments have waged more than five wars with the Arabs, yet never in the course of these wars did Israel think to use its nuclear weapons against its Arab enemies. Conversely, if the Persian state, with its stupid, rash and fascist regime that hides behind a religious guise, ever develops nuclear weapons, it will not hesitate to use nuclear bombs against the Arab Gulf states in the first conflict that arises,” he wrote.

He also opposed Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

“The terrorist Persian regime is striving to manufacture an atomic bomb. … The international community has placed considerable faith in negotiations with [this regime]. … Is the international community still unaware [of the fact] that Tehran’s fascist Persian regime excels at dragging its feet and at deceiving the world and leading it astray with futile illusions and false hopes, while at the same time proceeding with its illegitimate nuclear activities? How long can [the international community] rely solely on negotiations with the Persian side, especially after the Persian regime in Tehran has ordered the Revolutionary Guards to make preparations for an all-out war in the Middle East?”

He also calls Hamas a terror group.

“When terrorist organizations, including Hamas, fire mortars and rockets from the Gaza strip on cities in the Israeli south and kill innocent women and children, the misleading media call it ‘resistance’ or ‘refusal’ or ‘jihad operations,’ but when Israel attacks these organizations’ military and security installations inside the Gaza Strip in order to stop this terroristic firing of mortars and rockets, the media call Israel’s self-defense ‘aggression.’ These media outlets continue to discriminate and to call things by false names. They call the Israeli victims ‘casualties’ while Palestinian victims in the Gaza Strip are called ‘martyrs.’ These media outlets do not hesitate to deceive when they call Hamas’s attacks on innocent civilians in Israel’s southern cities ‘a right of the Palestinian resistance and jihad movements,’ while calling Israel’s defense of its people ‘the Israeli occupation army’s aggression towards Gaza.'”

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