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Errors in Koran Spark Kuwaiti Furor

May 08, 1999|Associated Press

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait's leader dissolved the National Assembly on Tuesday, hours after lawmakers threatened to oust his Islamic affairs minister for mistakes in 120,000 copies of the Koran.

The emir, Sheik Jabbar al Ahmed al Sabah, called for July 3 elections for a new assembly, nearly 1 1/2 years ahead of schedule. The emir said lawmakers misused their constitutional rights by demanding the no-confidence vote against Ahmed al Kulaib.

In an emotional five-hour session earlier Tuesday, Kuwaiti lawmakers lambasted Kulaib for his "political responsibility" in allowing the Islamic holy book to be printed and released with verses missing, repeated or misplaced.

Legislator Abbas al Khodari accused the minister of attempting to "disfigure the faith of Muslims" in Kuwait and abroad, where free copies of the Koran were distributed. The mistake was noticed late last year.

Kulaib acknowledged the errors, saying they were made during the collating and binding stages.

"Nobody is denying that an unintentional mistake has been made," he said. "The mistakes do not include any intended change in the meaning" of verses.

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