Indian arrested in Saudi Arabia for offensive picture of Holy Ka’aba

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An Indian expatriate who allegedly posted an offensive picture of Holy Ka’aba has been arrested in Saudi Arabia’s Riyadh.

The man in his 40s had allegedly posted a photo of Hindu god Shiva sitting on Ka’aba – the cuboid building at the centre of Islam’s most sacred mosque.

Thousands of social media users have called for action against the person behind the picture that went viral on the Internet.

“Not only did he defame the Ka’aba but he posted it on social media indicating he was proud of his actions,” a spokesperson for the Riyadh police said.

A video shared on Whatsapp shows a person being beaten up by a group of Hindi-speaking people, allegedly for sharing some offensive content on Facebook.

The same was also shared by an Arabic news channel (see below). However the source and background of the video is not verified.

The Ka’aba is at the center of Islam’s most sacred mosque Al Masjid al-Haram, in Mecca.

Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Ka’aba while praying. From any point in the world, the direction facing the Kaaba is called the qibla.

A search on internet shows that there is a minority group who try to propagate that the Ka’aba is an ancient Hindu temple and the black stone inside Ka’aba is a Shivalinga.

Similar incident

Last year, an Indian national was detained in Saudi Arabia after he posted a picture on a social network showing the Grand Mosque in Makkah as a Hindu temple.

The picture, displayed on Facebook, showed Al Masjid Al Haram, but instead of the Ka’aba, there were Hindu symbols. A Saudi national, shocked by the picture, alerted the authorities and an investigation was launched.

The suspect, who was arrested by the police at the airport, admitted the social network page was his, but said that he had seen a link to the picture on another account and that he had to click “Like” to enable him to see it.

The picture was automatically loaded onto his account for his followers to see, he claimed.

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However, investigators decided that he was guilty of breaking the anti-cybercrime law by promoting an offensive picture.

Under the Saudi law, anyone who is involved in the production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers, can be jailed up to five years and made to pay a fine of up to 3 million riyals.

- Published on 21 November 2016 - By Mohamed Faisal /

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