Saudi Liberal Writer Arrested for Islam 'Insults'

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

A Saudi Arabian liberal writer was arrested on Monday for making comments on his Twitter account that were allegedly insulting to Islam, family members said.

Turki Ahmed was arrested on orders of Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, who was tipped off by a religious organization, they said.

The interior ministry did not confirm the arrest, however, and its spokesman was unreachable for comment.

Ahmed on his Twitter account attacked radical Islamists he said were twisting the Prophet Mohammed's "message of love," and what he described as "a neo-Nazism which is on the rise in the Arab world -- Islamic extremism".

His comments provoked fierce debate on social networking sites in Saudi Arabia between his supporters and detractors.

Online activist Raif Badawi, another Saudi, was arrested in June in Jeddah and accused of apostasy, which carries the death penalty in the Gulf kingdom.

Badawi helped set up a liberal Saudi website, which declared a "day of liberalism" on May 7, calling for protests against the stranglehold of religious officials on public life in the strict Sunni-ruled monarchy.

Amnesty International condemned Badawi's prosecution.

"Raif Badawi’s trial for ‘apostasy’ is a clear case of intimidation against him and others who seek to engage in open debates about the issues that Saudi Arabians face in their daily lives," said Philip Luther, director of the organization’s Middle East and North Africa division.

"He is a prisoner of conscience who must be released immediately and unconditionally," he added.

Comments 3
Default-user-icon Kara Harrani (Guest) 25 December 2012, 18:08

His arrest just confirms that Islamic fundamentalism is a savage and barbaric ideology that needs to be harshly criticized at every opportunity.

Default-user-icon iQ (Guest) 26 December 2012, 11:49

It is unfair to even consider any ideology that can arrest a Raid Nadawi or a Turki Al Hamad as an ideology, for an ideology is the domain of Human Beings. The policies of a Saudi Government that lead to the arrest of a Muslim Liberal who wants to free his fellow citizens from tyrannical religious officials is more in tune with Satanism [no offense to Anton La Vey]. And what can be said about the US Government that sleeps with the Saudi government for Oil, but has no hesitation in using drones to attack Taliban? They are equally culpable for the torture of liberals. Thomas Paine must be turning in his grave.

Default-user-icon Live Holy Quran (Guest) 26 December 2012, 14:13

No doubt Islam is a complete and perfect religion shedding light on all significant issues of humanity. No one is permitted to insult islam. Islam is the only religion which gives the message of prosperity and brotherhood