Saudi film director released after arrest
04 March 2012
Saudi Gazette - RIYADH – Al-Olaya Police Station has released Abdul Khaleq Al-Ghanim, a Saudi film director, who was arrested Thursday by Hai’a members while shooting a television series in Riyadh.
Al-Ghanim told Al-Hayat newspaper that the Hai’a members treated him courteously but had arrested him because one of the cars used in a scene had the Hai’a logo on it.
“The scene involved a Hai’a member giving advice to a girl,” he said.
Al-Ghanim was surprised when he learned that the Hai’a members were searching for him after the scene had been completed.
“Despite their nice treatment, they put me in the back of the car which didn’t have any seats. I don’t understand this. Why did they not let me sit up front instead of putting me in the rear end? It was not civilized behavior to do such a thing.”
The television series is about an American girl who decides to become a Muslim after reading Al-Bukhari’s compilation of the sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him, Al-Ghanim said. The girl is, however, surprised when she sees Islam being distorted by improper practices and behavior.
“The episode has a great message which was praised by the Hai’a members,” he said.
Al-Hayat newspaper was not able to get comment from the Hai’a’s spokesman, Turki Al-Shaleel.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Al-Ghamdi, director of the Saudi Producers and Distributors Association, promised to support production companies working under the supervision of the association.
“The Hai’a members took Al-Ghanim to Al-Olaya Police station because they objected to their slogan being placed on a car without their permission. They were angry after receiving a call from a citizen who lived nearby.”
Al-Ghamdi thanked Al-Olaya police for completing the case in less than 15 minutes. – SG