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Liberal Saudi Writer Detained Over Tweets On Islam

A liberal Saudi writer has been detained on charges of making insulting comments about Islam.

Family members said Turki Al-Hamad was arrested on the orders of Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdel Aziz on December 24.

Al-Hamad recently attacked radical Islamists on his Twitter account.

He accused them of twisting the message of Prophet Muhammad.

In a recent tweet he characterized Islamic extremism as "a neo-Nazism which is on the rise in the Arab world."

The comments prompted a fierce debate between his supporters and opponents on social networking websites in Saudi Arabia.

Authorities and conservative clerics have criticized Al-Hamad many times before for his outspoken liberal views in the conservative country.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa