Pakistan Reacts To ‘Draw Muhammed Day’ By Blocking Facebook
May 19, 2010
Pakistan (ChattahBox) – The Pakistani government has blocked social networking site Facebook a day before a group went through with “Draw Muhammed Day”.
The move was an unexpected one, and is still slightly surprising. While depicting the Prophet Mohammed is something that has caused many issues in the past, and conservative Muslims find it offensive, there have been no known complaints to any authority or organization by users in Pakistan on record.
“We have blocked it for an indefinite amount of time. We are just following the government’s instructions and the ruling of the Lahore High Court. If the government decides to unblock it then that’s what we will do,” a spokesman for the country’s telecommunication authority, Khoram Ali Mehran, said.
The creator and users of the group deny it is anti-Muslim, or based on hatred. Rather, they say it is a push for free speech on a topic that should be as open as any other.
“This is meant to be in protest,” creator Mimi Sulpovar explained.
“This is something I have felt strongly about for a long time: Bullying by certain Muslim groups will not be tolerated in a free country [such as the intimidation to Comedy Central that led to an episode of South Park being removed after death threats].
“This extends beyond being able to draw Mohammad. If it’s offensive to you, that’s fine, but I don’t feel it’s right to impose your belief on others through intimidation. This is nothing to do with hate or bigotry,” she said. “Nobody is inciting violence or preaching open hatred towards individuals.”