Pakistan blocks Facebook over Prophet drawing campaign

Facebook campaign page blocked in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia

Tags: ComplaintFacebook IncorporationPakistanPakistan Telecommunication Company LimitedSaudi ArabiaSocial MediaSocial networkingUnited Arab Emirates
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Pakistan blocks Facebook over Prophet drawing campaign People in Lahore staged a protest on May 20th over a Facebook campaign inviting people to send in drawings of Prophet Mohammed. (Getty Images)
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By  Vineetha Menon Published  May 20, 2010

Pakistan has blocked access to Facebook because of a religiously-fuelled campaign on the social networking site called ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'.

A Facebook user recently set up the page inviting people to send in a ‘creative and funny depiction of Mohammed' today (May 20), with the intention of supporting freedom of speech and to protest threats made by an Islamic group against the creators of South Park for depicting the Prophet Mohammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.

Hundreds of Facebook users have called for the social-networking site to pull down the page. Other users have created their own pages in protest with one page, ‘AGAINST "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!', already having the support of more than 92,000 people.

Facebook sent a statement to the media saying that they are investigating the matter and that they would consider restricting access to the controversial content in specific countries.

"While the content does not violate our terms, we do understand it may not be legal in some countries," the company said in a statement. "In cases like this, the approach is sometimes to restrict certain content from being shown in specific countries."

The page is presently not accessible in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim nation, has decided to block the website entirely ‘till further orders' following a decision by the Lahore High Court. It's believed that YouTube has now also been blocked in the country because of un-Islamic content.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has set up a toll free number and dedicated email address for citizens to report any other websites and URLs where ‘such objectionable material is placed'.

2740 days ago
LaurenfromUSA

I agree with Haider Zaman Khan that Facebook should be blocked from ALL countries, and not just the Middle East. Muhammad is regarded by Muslims as the messenger and prophet of God/Allah, the last and the greatest law-bearer in a series of prophets of Islam, as Jesus is as important to Christians, and Moses to the Jews. People should be respectful of other's beliefs.

2740 days ago
Hunain

to hell wid that facebook,who goes against Islam. can abandon the use of the internet,for the Islam.But nuthing can take place against Islam.not even the freaking facebook...

2741 days ago
haider zaman khan

the owners of the Sites should be realize the ethic of holy thing in all the world's religion. it should be blocked in all over the world, not only in some countries. "In cases like this, the approach is sometimes to restrict certain content from being shown in specific countries." The above statement is not acceptable.

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