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.”



5 Responses to “Pakistan Reacts To ‘Draw Muhammed Day’ By Blocking Facebook”

  1. Anisa on May 20th, 2010 11:44 am

    What the pakistani government did is right… this person is racist due to writing this and she has just createdproblems for both the whites and the muslims…
    Whatis honestly the point of making this day up… it is just stupid why people dothese things… :@

  2. olivia on May 20th, 2010 11:57 am

    Anisa – To be fair, I really doubt the creator of the group is specifically against Muslims, per se. I think her point was against the extremist groups that have been threatening violence, and those clerics who promote death to anyone who depicts Muhammad. It is more about taking a stand against any issue that would be swept under the rug, under threat of other issues being treated in a similar fashion.

    For example, if you concede to the point of drawing Mohammad, forcing others who are not Islamic to pay the consequences based on your beliefs and not there own, it could leak into other issues. Suddenly, others could continue to push their beliefs to affect the rest of the world, like with the abortion issue, gay marriage, ect.

    I think she went around making the point in a tasteless way, but I don’t think she is inherently racist because she made it. It just happens that Muslim extremists in particular are the target of this protest. And that is what it is: a protest.

  3. Huniad Hameed on May 20th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Lady did not use the right method to voice her thoughts.
    Otherwise, I’m agree that the terror of extremist Muslims has to discussed, but not in a manner where the Holy Prophet, who is of immense importance to the Muslims be shown have anal sex with pigs and other obscene methods.

  4. Ursela on May 20th, 2010 11:05 pm

    How is this racist? Muslims are not a race – but a religion.

    And #2 – There’s TONS of movies; music; sites and magazines making fun of Christians – heck calling all Catholic priests pedophiles – and they’re not blocked?

    What’s really going on here?

  5. olivia on May 21st, 2010 12:04 am

    Ursela – Yeah, I chose not to point out the race versus religion thing. But it is a good point. But as for the Christian joke thing, no, a country is not blocking the content. But you have advocacy groups that lose their minds all the time from those sectors and calling against the people. For a classic example, just look at the Beatles record burnings after they made the “Bigger than Jesus” comment.

    I think this is just what it looks like: A highly conservative country is jumping the gun to reduce further inciting the wrath of an already out-of-control extremist organization. Attacks are frequent in Pakistan. This site covers suicide attacks from religious fanatics all the time. My guess is they are doing this more out of an attempt to circumvent civilian deaths as retribution for no action. Given the highly precarious situation there, I can’t say I blame them. But I doubt it will make much difference, in the end. Other than to piss off the non-extremists.

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