On May 11, the Kuwaiti Constitutional Court rejected an appeal by MP Nabil al-Fadl to adjust citizenship laws in order to allow Christians to become citizens.
The current law, according to Article 4.5 of the Citizenship Act of Kuwait, holds
that he [a potential citizen] be an original Muslim by birth, or that he has converted to Islam according to the prescribed rules and procedures and that a period of at least 5 years has passed since he embraced Islam before the grant of naturalization.
Nationality thus acquired is ipso facto lost and the Decree of naturalization rendered void ab initio if the naturalized person expressly renounces Islam or if he behaves in such a manner as clearly indicates his intention to abandon Islam. In any such case, the nationality of any dependant of the apostate who had acquired it upon the naturalization of the apostate is also rendered void.
Such is the idea of "nationality" in Muslim countries—one that is antithetical to Western notions of citizenship, where freedom of religion (and conscience) are paramount.
This also sheds light on why Muslim "apostates," especially those who convert to Christianity, are regularly seen as traitors: abandoning Islam is synonymous with treason.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum