Viewing cable 05MUSCAT67
Title: OMAN ONLINE: KUWAITI PARLIAMENT VS. OMANI MAJLIS AL-

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05MUSCAT672005-01-13 07:06:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Muscat
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS MUSCAT 000067 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP (TROBERTS), NEA/PPD (CWHITTLESEY), NEA/P 
(FFINVER), IIP/G/NEA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KPAO PGOV SOCI MU
SUBJECT: OMAN ONLINE: KUWAITI PARLIAMENT VS. OMANI MAJLIS AL- 
SHURA 
 
 
¶1. Summary:  The Omani Internet chat room "Sablat al-Arab" -- or 
simply "Al-Sablah" -- is the liveliest and most comprehensive 
Arabic-language forum for political and social discourse in the 
country, touching on issues and personalities rarely addressed in 
the conventional media.  While not totally free, nor wholly 
reflective of Omani public opinion, Al-Sablah nevertheless offers 
a worthwhile window into the hot topics and unvarnished views of 
the day.  This edition of Oman Online contains the following 
topic: 
 
-- A comparison between the Omani Majlis Al-Shura and the Kuwaiti 
Parliament 
 
End summary. 
 
------------------- 
Which System Rules? 
------------------- 
 
¶2. An al-Sablah member began a discussion comparing Oman's Majlis 
Al-Shura with the Kuwaiti parliament by stating, "Although a lot 
of people criticize Kuwaiti foreign policy because of its support 
for the United States, it is clear that the country's strong 
internal policies have positively affected the daily lives of 
Kuwaitis."  Another participant commented, "Despite the fact that 
there are several American bases in Kuwaiti territory -- giving 
the impression of strong U.S. influence -- the opposite is true. 
Anyone familiar with Kuwaiti culture and society knows that 
Kuwaitis are very much in control.  Kuwaitis do everything 
possible to preserve their culture and society.  For example, 
they prohibit bars and night clubs that serve alcohol."  Other 
members mentioned, "On the other hand, Oman is relatively free 
from foreign influence, yet it permits the purchase and sell of 
alcohol."  According to another al-Sablah participant, "Omani 
society is less strict because it is trying to project a sense of 
openness and tolerance for Westerners. This is the reason it 
permits things that are prohibited by Islam." 
 
¶3.  The al-Sablah member who initiated the conversation ended the 
discussion by stating, "The Omani government only allowed women 
to run for positions in the Majlis Al-Shura to please Westerners. 
It gave women the right to vote because it knows that the Majlis 
has no real power to change the country.  However, in Kuwait, the 
parliament did not approve the participation of women in 
government, nor did it extend to women the right to vote.  This 
is because the Kuwaiti parliament has real power.  Parliament 
members have the power to effect change and are free to address 
all issues of concern to the country." 
 
BALTIMORE