Jalees Rehman in the Huffington Post:
Last week, the Saudi writer and blogger Hamza Kashgari tweeted about Prophet Muhammad and his tweets caused an unanticipated fire-storm of outrage among many Saudis. They formed an “electronic lynch mob” and responded with hate-filled tweets, Face-book posts, comments, threats and YouTube videos, calling for the arrest and punishment of Kashgari.
A prominent Saudi cleric accused Kashgari of apostasy (“Ridda”), which could be punishable by death under Saudi law. Multiple sites reported that an arrest warrant was issued by the King of Saudi-Arabia, even though Kashgari deleted his tweets and apologized for them. Realizing that his life was in danger, Kashgari escaped from Saudi-Arabia. However, at the request of the Saudi authorities, Kashgari was detained mid-journey by the Malaysian police at the Kuala Lumpur airport, so that he was unable to reach his destination New Zealand, where he had intended to ask for political asylum.
The government of Malaysia is now in the process of deciding whether or not to extradite Kashgari back to Saudi-Arabia.
It is appalling that Saudi clerics and the Saudi government would resort to such measures in response to a few tweets by a 23-year old writer, who was merely expressing his personal views on his faith and Prophet Muhammad.