9 Feb 2012

Sacrilegious Saudi writer arrested in Malaysia

Malaysian authorities arrested a Saudi newspaper writer wanted by the Gulf kingdom for offending Islam and Prophet Mohammed and local reports said he could face death.

Hamza Kashgari

Hamza Kashgari was seized as he arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday following his escape from Saudi Arabia on news that King Abdullah has ordered him arrested and prosecuted for religious insults in his articles on Twitter.

“The Malaysian authorities are coordinating with Saudi Arabia to hand Kashgari over,” the Saudi Arabic language daily 'Al Youm' said. In a separate report, newspapers quoted a statement by the kingdom’s Islamic Fatwa Committee calling for punishing Kashgari in line with Islamic law, which means he could be executed.

Emirates 24/7

And what did he do?

Last week, just before the anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad’s birth, Hamza Kashgari, a 23-year-old Saudi writer in Jidda, took to his Twitter feed to reflect on the occasion.

“On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you,” he wrote in one tweet.

“On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more,” he wrote in a second.

“On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more,” he concluded in a third.

The Daily Beast

Sheikh Nasser Al Omar pleads to the king that Saudi writer Hamza Kashgari gets executed for supposedly writings "shameful" comments about prophet Mohammed on Twitter.