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Pakistani Court Bans Facebook Over “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!”

Pakistani Court Bans Facebook Over “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!”


A Facebook group known as “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” has caused the worlds largest social network to temporarily lose nearly 45 million customers in the Pakistan region.

According to TechCrunch, a Pakistani court made their ruling to temporarily block the social networking site after it was determined Facebook did nothing to discourage the Mohammed caricature day. According to Islamic law, depicting any prophet, even in a positive light is strictly prohibited.

Pakistan is predominately Muslim and faith groups in the area had petitioned to arrange the sites ban in the area. According to Al Jazeera:

“About 20 people carried banners outside of courthouse in Lahore, condemning Facebook and praising Prophet Mohammed.”

It’s not the first time Muslim protesters have attacked  U.S. run websites, in February 2008 YouTube had regulatory restrictions applied to the site.

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All Voices is reporting that politician Ghulam Hussain Pirzada addressed the nations concerns stating:

“protesters [are] demanding that the PTA ban obscene as well as sites that are offensive to the sensitivities of Muslims. He also asked the government to ban all newspapers, magazines and publications that have such offensive material and substance.

The court decision will remain in effect until May 31st at which time a detailed hearing will take place, including replies to the written petition which at least partly led to the ban.

View Comments (20)
  • Ali, I agree that going against a religions beliefs just for the sake of doing so is disrespectful, but at the same time banning an entire service for all people, even if they don’t see the need to ban it isn’t the right solution. Given that Facebook revenues probably aren’t even being all that dented by the lower incomes of web surfers in that region I don’t think it’s really serving a slap on the wrist purpose. Think about the number of companies that probably rely at least partly on Facebook advertising in that region and the number of people who stay connected through the service, it all seems a bit hasty.

  • James, I do agree with you on some points. But to fully understand the gravity of situation you have to look at it from a muslim’s point of view. We Muslims hold our Holy Prophet dearer then our Father and Mother and everyone. I don’t wanna offend you but suppose if someone posts indecent photos of your mother or cartoons of your father on Facebook just in the name of “freedom of speach” how would you feel. Drawing of Holy Prophet is strictly forbidden in Islam and we expect other religions to respect it. So will we respect their religions. But if not, a muslim can go to any extent, which makes blocking of Facebook merely the beginning. Hope you will understand.

  • Asad,

    I respect and sympathise with everything you said, until you mentioned:

    which makes blocking of Facebook merely the beginning

    When I read that, although I do understand the importance of your Holy Prophet, I had to shake my head. It are words like these which gave/give Bush and Obama a reason to continue, it is with words like these that you actually say ‘Yes, we are…’.

    Do you know what I mean?

  • Althoug we all muslims hert for this act. Bycote facebook this offer not only for muslims but for all religios belivers becs; simple sentanse “We should always respects other religion.”

  • Asad,

    I appreciate the Muslim view on not drawing prophets, I would never do anything myself to intentionally attack another religions (well maybe scientology). I was simply making the point in my last comment, that an entire country blocking a website over a religious point of view stop everyone, even non-muslims from accessing a site they don’t believe to have as many issues (I know it’s a small minority in that region). But I do understand that not all countries have the same freedom of religion that we enjoy in the United States and various other countries. Facebook does however have the write to allow their users to create groups as they see fit, if they were to delete the group it would signal a violation of freedom of speech (part of the U.S. Constitution), perhaps Facebook could have implemented some type of filtering for these types of groups in the region.

  • james
    “But I do understand that not all countries have the same freedom of religion that we enjoy in the United States and various other countries. ”

    i am not agree with you.All the fuss comes out from U.S. when their comes the matter of you think in U.S a muslim girl have the right of keeping her veil??i dont think so.most strict actions against islamic customes always tends to be taken from your country..whether we talk about a veil or a beared person you always blame us as terrorist but the ways your native country adopt against islam is inappropriate..your country is doing nothing but just developing hatred against them in muslims heart..proud 2 b a muslim,proud to ba a pakistani because we are the initiators who have comdemned such kind of messy and third class atitudes..ALHAMDULLILLAH

  • west is not ready to respect the basic human right that nobody should heart the other human physically or psychologically…they are continuously causing pschological truama to muslims all over the world in the name of freedom..this attitude is of ‘sick minds’…and is against the basic human rights…see WHO an UN definitions of human rights and freedom…if anyone thinks himself/herself justifiable…

  • I think Pakistani Court has taken a very good step that they banned the facebook. Thats the best way to realize Facebook authors. They must understand this issue. It should not happen in future.

    If FBI could reach terrorists through Facebook Conversations, why dont they try to reach all those idiots who started or participating in this competition. It should be banned entirely.

    I dont understand islam very well, but i read many books and i do respect this religion.

  • Asad,
    RE: “But if not, a Muslim can go to any extent, which makes blocking of Facebook merely the beginning. ”

    This has a scary and threatening overtone to it. Not an indication that tolerance is your forte’.

    And, Umair;
    RE: “do you think in U.S a Muslim girl have the right of keeping her veil?”

    Yes, I do think she has that right. I see them every day here in the U.S. I think you may be referring to the controversy over wearing the veil in a state required and sanctioned photo I.D. like a drivers license. That is so silly as to not require further discussion. It’s purpose is to identify a person. That cannot be done without a visible face.

    Also, I, too had a beard for years and was never accused of being a terrorist. You are so sensitive that you are believing things that are simply not true. Here, we call that paranoid.

    By the way I changed your “m” in Muslim to a capital letter
    because it is more proper and respectful

  • I just want to ask one thing. Has there ever been a draw Jesus day, or Bhangwaan or Budha day. Why Mohammad? Why do somebody has to come up with such an idea in the first place? why do you do have to make fun of anybody’s religion at all? Are there no other better things to do in life?

    First, you do such a thing to upset muslims and then you call them being hyper sensitive? I ask how many time have muslims come up with such an idea of insulting or bullying and making fun of other religions?

    This is nothing to do with freedom of speech. “Freedom of speech” make documentaries, write openly in news papers. Convey the facts in words, not by disrespecting someone’s religion. This is Truly and Utterly “disgraceful”

    I hope my message is clear and its nothing to fight about or threatening anyone. People who do all this, please think about doing something better and more productive in life rather than creating tension and chaos in the world.

  • All what I have to say is that I don’t find much difference in thsi situation and the one which started French Revolution. The crux then was lack of EMPATHY and now it is the same. People are not comprehending that when Freedom of Speech PROVOKES someone it is no longer Freedom of Speech it becomes Freedom of Hate Speech. If speaking your mind was so legal then why do almost all blogs have moderation, report abuse options and enforcements against Racism, Sexism, Sexual Harassment are there? It boils down to one point I am not obligated to tolerate anything a STRANGER says about my Belief System especially when there is no Motive just to get even! Lastly, This campaign is a result of an offense taken by some people on South Park Censorship. If it is you right to take action on getting offended then don’t get offended on my getting offended on you tactics to show your offense!!

  • Mahreen, while I don’t necessarily agree with the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” I just reported on it. I do believe the group came about after one author chose to exercise his right to draw what he chose and a jihad was put out on his life. You refer to drawing Jesus, if it wasn’t allowed by Christian beliefs I don’t think they would start shouting Jihad. They may boycott the cartoonists work or protest at their offices, but threatening to kill a person over their lack of respect for a religion is ignorant in this day and age. Yes, I’m aware that not all, in fact most Muslims do not share the angry beliefs (at least the anger leading to a call of death) of those that pronounced the Jihad, but I do believe the group was largely constructed in response to the ridiculous call to kill someone over their rude act against another religion. Just my two cents.

  • Cartoons are only the iceberg tip
    Muslims “do and do not actions
    Do: Outrage against cartoons
    Do not: Antiterorisms demonstration
    Do: Building Mosks worldwide
    Do not:Permit building of non Islam praying homes in many Muslim controlled areas
    Do: Demanding freedom for all aspects of Muslim culture worldwide
    Do not: Demand Muslim recognition of free&peaceful coexistence among all cultures
    Do: Demand free Islamic preaching
    Do not: Stop incitement& individual Jihad against the host country

  • James,
    I am very concerned about the website that was posted by ziggy botswanna. It is a direct threat against three individuals. I know that many of us with a brain will not take it seriously but there are those out there that are radicals, regardless relegion and will take it seriously. Please remove it from your blog. My father’s family was born and raised in Pakistan and are Muslim. I am the first of his family born in the US. I am not Muslim but a Christian woman. I am also a Soldier in the United States Army and have been for the past 17 years. Although I agree with the fact that Facebook was disrespectful, I don’t agree with the actions that Pakistan has taken in response to it. Muslims are demanding that they be allowed to practice their beliefs in any country that they happen to be in, but if a Christian goes to a Muslim dominate country, they are threatened, killed and driven out for daring to practice a religion that is not Muslim. I am very concerned with the outcome of this ban. So many countries, to include the US are changing to submit to the Muslim religion. I honestly think this is just another form of the Islamic community forcing it’s will on those that are not Muslim.

  • US Born Pakistani,

    I did remove that comment, while I don’t believe in censoring freedom of speech, sending visitors to a site that puts a bounty on American’s or for that matter anyone’s head with their personal information displayed is not only stupid, it’s illegal.

  • To me this is again another misunderstanding between Muslims and non-muslims… Muslims want total respect of their values (no drawings of the Holy Prophet) and non-muslims expect Muslims to respect their values about freedom of speech…

    in this specific situation both parties should be happy since they both get what they want…

    If the Muslim community doesn’t want freedom of speech that offends their religious views they should go on banning Facebook in Pakistan…. I don’t see why all non-muslim’s should have a problem with that… afterall Facebook is still freely accessible in most other countries and ‘absolute’ freedom of speech doen’t exist in any country in the world…

    for humanity though it is yet another sad day… Political and/or religious leaders have once again succeded in diving us all… in this specific situation in muslims and non-muslims…

    “divide et impera” is older than Christianity or Islam but it is still the only universal value enforced in (almost) every part of the world.

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