The Pakistani government's decision to block Facebook, Youtube
and other pages, has drawn sharp reaction within the country. The ban
itself began in response to some Pakistanis protesting against
on Facebook to draw Mohammad,
which violates some Islamic law. But the country's religious hard-line
minority doesn't represent everyone. The country has a vibrant and
diverse community of English-speaking journalists and bloggers. Here
are some of their reactions to the bans.
- Pakistan's Hypocritically
Selective Bans Huma Imtiaz scoffs, "Cartoons.
Yes, they’re apparently a big threat to Muslims. I’m assuming that’s
the rationale here that PTA is working on. So tell me, are cartoons a
bigger threat than the video of Masood Azhar exhorting Muslims to go for
jihad? Or the dozens of other videos on YouTube that feature members of
the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan inciting viewers to wage war against the
Pakistan Army, which, if I’m not mistaken, amounts to treason?"
Idea, Wrong Execution The pseudonymous Teeth Maestro laments, "I
may halfheartedly agree with a particular ban on the offending Draw
Mohammed Day page, but I must condemn the across the board ban by Lahore
High Court, it does little to solve the problem, we as peaceful
Pakistanis were lobbying to force Facebook to block the groups
activities, our outreach
was peaceful and with a definite commitment we had condemned this
issue to such a strong degree that we might have possibly been on the
verge of a break through, to be honest no one from the Muslim world was
so emotionally charged lobbying against this group as we were here in
Pakistan, now they have a free reign to celebrate the Draw Mohammed Day.
to have won, while our government simply forced us to keep our eye
- Why Muslim Community Is Complicit Pakistani
blogger Adil Najam goes deep. "I am
offended by the idea that page purports and the goals it seeks to
achieve. So, why should I dignify it by a visit? Why should I publicize
it? Why should I give it the attention it was created to seek. Yet, all
of us (now me included, which is why writing this is uncomfortable) are
doing exactly that. And that is what pains me. They simply could not
have done this without us. The only people who have turned this from
nothingness into a huge issue is us. I am sure that those who set up the
page are jumping up and down and thanking us for making their page such
a huge success! And that is what pains me."
'Blasphemous' Sites Still Abound Pakistan-based newspaper The
International News reporter Moayyed
Jafri writes, "Other social networking websites such as
Twitter, Orkut, Bebo, Zoosk and
Hi5 hosting the blasphemous activity of holding the cartoon completion,
have been left totally unchecked which totally fails the purpose of
implementing the ban. In addition to the social networking sites, dozens
of web-blogs intending to host the blasphemous activity on May 19 and
20 are accessible as well."
- Punishing 'The Real Culprits'
Ayesha has no sympathy for
Facebook or the ban. "Can't we trace the guy who started all this
nonsense and send him behind the bars? I agree that by banning facebook
we are giving them financial loss and then they will remove all the
nonsense, but what about the real culprits? you think they will stop?
NO!, they will definitely find some other platform to harass us."
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