A young Muslim Kuwaiti, who provoked a massive stir in his home country by declaring himself a Zionist Jew, has said he does not care if his citizenship is revoked. The man, originally named Youssef Al Mehanna, converted to Judaism and adopted the Jewish name Naftali Benya. He has recently left for Britain, suggesting a plan to go to Israel.

The Kuwaiti authorities have said he will be stripped of his citizenship if he goes to Israel with which Kuwait has no diplomatic links.

“I don’t care if my nationality is withdrawn,” the 25-year-old man told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas.

“I don’t want to return to Kuwait. What has been circulated about the possibility of withdrawing my nationality is of no concern to me. Rather it will be a source of my pride,” he was quoted as saying.

Previously, Youssef, the son of a conservative Muslim family, fuelled controversy by declaring his attachment to Israel, saying he dreams of living there. He allegedly learned Hebrew from Israeli comedies.

“My message to the Kuwaiti people is to pay more attention to the Iranian danger and to pressure the government to mobilize its intelligence agencies to stop the Iranian regime’s project of developing nuclear weapons. This will be to the benefit of the Middle East,” he told Al Qabas. Iran is a sworn enemy of Israel.

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