Spiders Bemoan a Wound (book)

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Date: 1993

Region: The Middle East

Subject: Religion, Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature


Artist: Alia Shuaib

Confronting Bodies: Kuwait Islamists

Dates of Action: 1993, 2000

Location: Kuwait

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.

Source: Democracy Frontline at: http://democracyfrontline.org/blog/?p=1597 ; and, http://leb.net/~aljadid/culture/0529staff_01.html