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Kuwait Arrests Man Over Allegedly Sending Disparaging Prophet Mohammad Tweets

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"...regretted the abusing of social networks by some individuals to offend basic Islamic and spiritual values..."

Freedom of speech is a foreign concept in many areas of the Middle East, especially when it comes to criticizing the Prophet Mohammed and the Islamic faith.

In Kuwait, where blasphemy has been illegal since 1961, there are legal ramifications for speaking ill of Islam's most praised figure. A man, whose name hasn't yet been disclosed, was arrested on Tuesday and is facing charges over allegedly disparaging tweets he sent about Mohammed, the Islamic faith and others.

The man's purported "crimes" were announced by Kuwait's state-run news agency KUNA. According to Reuters, the unnamed defendant is being interrogated and will face the Islamic country's court of law over his messaging. The individual was arrested on Tuesday and the Interior Ministry issued a statement in which it said that it "regretted the abusing of social networks by some individuals to offend basic Islamic and spiritual values, vowing to show zero tolerance in combating such serious offenses."

Reuters has more about the incident as well as purported statements from the man in which he claims he didn't insult Mohammad:

Twitter is very popular in Kuwait, with many politicians, journalists and other public figures using the micro-blogging site to debate current events and share gossip. Popular figures can have hundreds of thousands of followers.

Kuwaiti media carried comments from the man denying the accusations. "I will never attack the Holy Prophet," he was reported as saying and added that someone must have hacked his account to post the comments.

This isn't the first social media flap to lead to an arrest in Kuwait. In September 2011, a man was convicted for insulting rulers and posting various comments on social media platforms. He was released for time served while awaiting trial, according to Reuters.

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