Monday, May 24, 2010

Facebook’s Ban in Pakistan: Bold and Beautiful

It’s been 4 days since Facebook’s so-called ‘Draw Mohammed Day’ that invited people to create drawings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on 20th May 2010. As a Muslim (no matter how liberal) I just refuse to not comment on how utterly disrespectful and pathetic this whole exercise was. I openly admit that I was amongst the many people who boycotted Facebook that particular day. Many of my friends and family members (much more religious and brave!) who were frequent users of Facebook have actually gone ahead and even deactivated their accounts.

What came as a pleasant surprise that day was when I learnt that due to this drawing nonsense, Pakistan had actually blocked Facebook altogether (well atleast until the 31st of May 2010), unlike other Muslim countries (including Saudi Arabia) where only the particular Draw Mohammed page is blocked. The most entertaining (and may I add totally preposterous) statement that came from Facebook in the wake of this ban in Pakistan was: "We are very disappointed with the Pakistani courts' decision to block Facebook without warning, and suspect our users there feel the same way," Facebook said in a statement to French news agency. "…we want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others.” Take note…respecting the rights and feelings of others…really!!! Certainly promoting such an act is Facebook’s way of showering respect on Islam and the feelings of all its Muslim users around the world. Right?

First these people ridicule and challenge our beliefs, and then they mask their actions with such lines - ‘freedom of speech’, ‘respect for all’ etc etc. What a load of crap!

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