Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz has ordered the suspension of a columnist after praise from the overzealous journalist appeared to go too far.
King Salman is routinely lauded by columnists in the local media in traditional deference to authority.
Ramadan al-Anzi's column in al-Jazirah newspaper, however, described the 81-year-old king as "Haleem" (forbearing,) and "Shadeed al-Eqab", (strict in punishment), terms associated in Islam with God, Reuters reported.
Giving individuals any of the 99 names of God or attributing divine qualities is frowned upon in the kingdom, and the newspaper published an apology on Saturday.
"The phrases and tribute which the author bestowed on the personality of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, are not acceptable, despite what God had bestowed upon him, may God protect him, of the honor of serving the two holy mosques, Islam, the homeland and the people," al-Jazirah wrote.
The king wrote to Information Minsiter Awwad bin Slaeh Alawwad saying he was "astonished by some of the phrases used in the column", Okaza newspaper reported.
Saudi media reported that King Salman had ordered that action be taken against the newspaper, but no specific details were given.
"This is an issue that has distressed us, we don't accept it and don't approve of it, recognizing its dangers and the danger of being lenient towards it," the king was quoted by online newspaper, Sabq, as saying in his written complaint.
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