Kuwaiti writer and critic Laila Ahmad has come under fire for criticizing a security guard who was loudly reciting Quranic verses at his place of work.
Ahmad posted an image of the employee on her Twitter page earlier this week after she spotted him in the parking lot of a building belonging to Kuwait's Public Institution for Social Security.
In her post, the writer deemed it inappropriate to read the Quran in a noisy setting, with people walking in and out. Just hours after she uploaded her post to Twitter, it sparked a heated debate on the platform, with thousands weighing in on the matter.
It all started when the writer sent out this tweet
Captioning her post, Ahmad wrote:
"In the first floor parking of the social security building today, this security guard was reading Quranic verses so loudly. He thinks he's in Kandahar, not in a governmental building that has its rules. There are rituals when it comes to reading the holy Quran, there's a respectful way to read and honor its meanings. This is disrespectful to God's book, reading it amidst loud car noises and people coming and going."
Her words sent Kuwaiti tweeps into a meltdown of the sorts, with many angrily hitting back at her and others defending her point of view.
Which has since created a controversy
Some defended the writer's point of view
"A new form of indirectly begging for money introduced to our country by expats. The holy Quran is sacred, so is one's work, which is a form of worship. Religion doesn't permit anyone to neglect their job because they're reading the Quran."
"If a fire or accident took place, he's the one who'll be held accountable"
"The role you played here came as a result of you being a critic, journalist, and loyal citizen who wants the best for her country. Keep moving forward."
Others were just outraged at Ahmad's post though
And criticized her for posting the man's picture on social media
Others raised this point
"Why do some link any mention of God to extremism!! Mentioning Kandahar in your tweet is an allusion to extremism. If you had entered an office and there were people waiting for their documents to be processed, I would've excused you, but to criticize a security guard who's sitting there all by himself?! You just passed by him for a second and you made fun of him and took a picture!! If he was singing, you wouldn't have been so upset."
"You could've privately asked him to lower his voice"
"But to take a picture of him and publish it without his consent is wrong. If he were a Kuwaiti or American national... would you have done that?"
"You put aside all the issues with our governmental institutions and focused on this?"
"A security man, sitting alone, peacefully reading the Quran? And what right do you have to talk about crossing boundaries when you're the one who took a photo of him and published it without his permission?"
"Tomorrow, I am going to the first floor and I'll let this man know his legal rights against you"
"And what you accused him of in your tweet."
Case in point? Let people be...
"And let him read the Quran out loud amidst the rush and noises, I want to understand, where's the crime that calls for you to post his photo here?"
Ahmad issued a statement amid the backlash
In a statement she made to ATV news, Ahmad reiterated the points of view raised in her tweet. Late on Monday, she tweeted about the matter once again, stating that the security guard has allegedly been assigned night-time shifts.
"I just learned that the security guard's work schedule has changed and he'll be handling afternoon shifts from now on. This decision upset me, what's his fault if he didn't know the rules. Any institution has to circulate its regulations to all its employees, who aren't allowed to listen to music or use their phones unless it's an emergency. They're paid a salary to make achievements and serve citizens," she wrote.