Kuwaiti Islamist MP Calls for 'Controls' on BBC Radio
A hardline Islamist MP in Kuwait has urged that "controls" be imposed on BBC FM radio broadcast in the emirate after it aired a program on extramarital affairs, newspapers reported Monday.
Waleed al-Tabtabai, in a letter addressed to Information Minister Saad bin Teflah al-Ajmi, said the BBC broadcast an Arabic-language programme on its first working day that included "indecent discussions on extramarital affairs", Al-Watan said.
The program contained controversial issues such as "sexual excitement for men and women, and an interview with a wife who had an extramarital affair," Tabtabai said.
He asked Ajmi if the BBC was open to "any Kuwaiti controls, especially with regard to the respect of religion and taking into consideration moral values."
The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) signed an agreement with Kuwait's information ministry on September 20 allowing BBC radio round-the-clock transmission on an FM band in the emirate.
The BBC began broadcasting 19 hours of Arabic and five of English programs on Saturday, aided by a booster station offered by Kuwait. In return, the BBC will train 300 Kuwaiti engineers.
Two US army stations and the Voice Of America also broadcast on FM in Kuwait.
Tabtabai on Wednesday urged Kuwait's state-run television to stop showing women's beach volleyball, diving and synchronized swimming from the Sydney Olympics, saying they were "too sexy and indecent".
He has been outspoken in his criticism of all forms of entertainment that involve mixing of the sexes, including "non-traditional and immoral" musical concerts in Kuwait's shopping festival.
Kuwait is a religiously conservative country where alcohol is banned under Islamic law, but is the only Gulf country to have an elected parliament, even though women are not allowed to vote - KUWAIT CITY (AFP)
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