I woke up yesterday morning to the disturbing news about the attack on Zayed Al Zaid, the editor-in-chief of Kuwait's first e-newspapers, Alaan. Personally, I've not followed this gentleman's editorials or writings to as much as I would have liked, but once I read all that there was available about his attack, it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
Since Dr. Ahmed Al Baghdadi's court ruling in June 2004, I've noticed that many people began to reconsider the repercussions of critical writing within the usual newspapers, to the point where they seem to have become conscious of the so-called clandestine idealogical terrorism, mostly due to the influences of Religious organizations and unions and what they can do to critical columnists and journalists.
Take an example from the past, Dr. Ahmed Al Baghdadi. Given, Dr. Al Baghdadi's controversial article does have many faults, mainly it's insensitivity towards those at the opposite side of his idealogical spectrum, and yes, he was wrong, PhD or not, to consider (at least publicly) a religious education as superior to a Scientific & Artistic education, but at least when it was time to deal with him, it was done through the courts and within the legal framework of a civilized and democratic state, exactly how it should be, if at all.
However, with Mr. Al Zaid, things went straight from a civilized state to a lawless jungle! Ironically, immediately before the attack, he had just given a lecture about the level of transparency in Kuwait, in light of a recent large project initiated by the Government. Rumor has it that he got a call on his mobile, then walked to his car and was about to drive off when an unknown assailant walked over to him and bludgeoned him with a non-lethal weapon on his face!
If we regard this incident, at this stage of the investigation, as related to Mr. Al Zaid's constant exposure of corruption among all levels of the Government (which may certainly be the case, as past history would dictate!) one may certainly begin to re-think his position as a critical writer of Kuwaiti Politics.
According to how the Al Watan places it, it seems that we've entered a stage in our lives where the only rule is the rule of harm & threats, should anyone even think about criticizing anyone. Al Qabas, however, decided it would be more appropriate to place this news item onto it's last page in it's printed version.
It is a sign of things to come where journalists in a thriving Democracy are physically attacked for their attempts at exposing the truth. I can only hope & pray that I'm wrong about what's to come.