Dubai: Briton facing jail for insulting Prophet Muhammad

Andrew called Prophet Muhammad a terrorist in a heated row with a Pakistani.

Updated: May 19, 2011, 15:50 PM IST

London: A British tourist called Prophet Muhammad a terrorist in a heated row with an electronics salesman in a Dubai shopping mall, and now faces the possibility of at least a year in jail.

According to the Daily Mail, Andrew Graham, 40, faces spending a year in a Dubai jail if he is convicted of insulting Islam.

The holidaymaker was wandering through the Mall of the Emirates when he got into an argument with Hassan Habeeb, a 21-year-old salesman from Pakistan.

During the row, Graham allegedly said “Muslims in Pakistan are not normal because they kill each other and kill people outside Pakistan”.

Habeeb tried to tell the Briton that Muslims are a “peaceful people and are all brothers who help each other.”

In a written statement produced before the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours yesterday, the Pakistani salesman said: “He laughed and said that I’m crazy and that Prophet Muhammad was not a peaceful man but he is a terrorist.”

Habeeb then became angry and tried to punch Graham, only for a customer to intervene, it was said.

The tourist was then taken to a police station and charged with swearing in public and insulting Islam.

Yesterday, Graham appeared in court wearing shorts and was ordered to change into trousers by the judge on the grounds of decency.

Once in the appropriate attire, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The court heard how the argument began after Graham had walked into E-Max electronic shop and struck up a conversation with Habeeb about the Taliban on March 03.

The salesman claims the conversation became aggressive after Graham discovered he was from Pakistan.

The heated argument took place in Dubai`s Mall of the Emirates.