Shia Islam in Kuwait

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Shia Islam in Kuwait constitutes 30-40%[1] of Kuwait's citizen population.[2]

In 2001, the US Department of State reported that there were 300,000 Shia Kuwaiti citizens and 820,000 Kuwaiti citizens in total thus Shias formed 36.5% of the Kuwaiti citizen population.[3] In 2002, the US Department of State reported that Shia Kuwaitis formed 30-40% of Kuwait's citizen population,[4] noting there were 525,000 Sunni citizens and 855,000 Kuwaiti citizens in total (61% Sunnis, 39% Shias).[4] In 2004, there were 300,000-350,000 Shia Kuwaiti citizens and 913,000 Kuwaiti citizens in total.[5] In 2008, the Strategic Studies Institute reported that 40% of Kuwaitis were Shias.[1] In the 1990's, 40% of Kuwaitis were Shias.[6]

Shia Kuwaitis are usually under-represented in the National Assembly parliaments although hold a few positions in the government.[7]

Shia Kuwaitis founded the local armed resistance movement during the occupation of Kuwait in the Gulf War.[8][9][10] Most Kuwaitis arrested, tortured and executed during the occupation were Shias.[11] The Kuwaiti resistance's casualty rate far exceeded that of the coalition military forces and Western hostages.[12] The resistance predominantly consisted of ordinary citizens who lacked any form of training and supervision.[12] Most Shia Kuwaitis are Ajam.[13][11] Some Shia Kuwaitis originate from Al-Hasa, Bahrain and Iraq.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The New Middle East, Turkey, and the Search for Regional Stability". Strategic Studies Institute. April 2008. p. 93. "Shiites comprise 60 percent of the population in Bahrain, 40 percent in Kuwait, 14 percent in Saudi Arabia, and 35 percent in Lebanon." 
  2. ^ "Kuwait". CIA Factbook. 
  3. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 2001. 
  4. ^ a b "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 2002. 
  5. ^ "International Religious Freedom Report". US State Department. 2004. 
  6. ^ "Saudi Release of 4 Kuwaiti Convicts Highlights Changing Gulf Alliances : Diplomacy: The Shiites were jailed for a bombing in Mecca. Sixteen other defendants were beheaded in 1989.". Los Angeles Times. "Although 40% of the Kuwaiti population is Shiite, only three members of the last Parliament and one member of the Cabinet, the minister of transport, belonged to that branch of Islam." 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Iran, Israel and the Shi'ite Crescent". S. Daniel Abraham Center for Strategic Dialogue. pp. 14–15. 
  9. ^ "Saddam's Security Apparatus During the Invasion of Kuwait and the Kuwaiti Resistance". The Journal of Intelligence History. Winter 2003. pp. 74–75. 
  10. ^ "Two ethnicities, three generations: Phonological variation and change in Kuwait". Newcastle University. 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "Citizenship and the State in the Middle East: Approaches and Applications". Nils August Butenschøn, Uri Davis, Manuel Sarkis Hassassian. 2000. p. 190. 
  12. ^ a b "The Kuwaiti Resistance". Middle East Forum. March 1995. 
  13. ^ "Islam in the World Today: A Handbook of Politics, Religion, Culture, and Society". Werner Ende, Udo Steinbach. 2002. p. 533. 
  14. ^ Business Politics in the Middle East. p. 400.