Spiders Bemoan a Wound (book)
Region: The Middle East
Subject: Religion, Political/Economic/Social Opinion
Artist: Alia Shuaib
Confronting Bodies: Kuwait Islamists
Dates of Action: 1993, 2000
Description of Artwork: The text under question is a line of poetry from Alia Shuaib’s book, “Anakeb Tarthi Jerhan” (“Spiders Lament a Wound”) published in 1993.
The Incident: Shuaib, a teacher of philosophy at Kuwait University, maintains that the only part of her book “Spiders Lament a Wound” that mentions God is the phrase "God's secret map." However, Kuwait Islamists objected to the text citing moral and religious offences.
Results of Incident: Shuaib was found guilty of "publishing opinions that ridicule religion" and blasphemy and was sentenced to one month in prison and several fines. Yehya al-Rubaian, the book's publisher, was also given a suspended two-month sentence and was fined the equivalent of $328 for publishing the book without prior government approval. The writer and publisher have appealed the ruling.