Saudi police arrested an Indian expatriate just before his departure on charges of abusing Islam by publishing an insulting picture of the Grand Mosque on his Facebook page. Officials said he could face up to five years in prison or a heavy fine.
The unnamed man was arrested at the airport in the Western Red Sea port of Jeddah after a Saudi man reported the picture to the police.
'Okaz' Arabic language newspaper said the picture depicted the Grand Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest shrines, as a Hindu temple, It quoted a police source as saying the defendant told the prosecutor that he only copied that picture from a foreign magazine.
The paper said the man is facing charges of insulting Islam and could be jailed for up to five years or fined SR3 million (Dh3 million).
“What this defendant has done is considered as a major crime which requires severe punishment,” the paper said, quoting ex-prosecutor Saad Al Malki.