Malaysia home minister confirms Saudi tweeter’s arrest

February 15, 2012

Malaysia’s Home Minister late on Friday confirmed the arrest of controversial Saudi columnist Mohammad Najeeb A Kashgari at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Hishammuddin Tun Hussain said that the Saudi national known as Hamza Kashgari, 23, was arrested by police on Thursday at about 9.40am at the request of Saudi Arabian authorities for reportedly insulting Islam and Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Bernama news agency said.

“The police have been in contact with authorities in Saudi Arabia to determine further action,” he said in a statement.

Hamza has sparked national and international outrage after he used his Twitter account to insult Islam and abuse Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) by pretending he was interacting with him on equal status.

Malaysia and Saudi Arabia do not have a formal extradition treaty.

However, an official with the Malaysian home ministry who asked to remain unidentified was quoted as saying Kashgari could be extradited under other bilateral security agreements.

Thousands of scholars, students and online users, infuriated by the man’s open sacrilege, filed lawsuits against him, urging authorities to prosecute him.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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