Pakistan

Pakistan bans Facebook for Mohammed drawings

Reuters

A Pakistani court ordered authorities to block Facebook throughout the country on Wednesday after a Facebook user set up a page called Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, inviting people to post pictures of Islam’s prophet on the website.

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Justice Sajjad Chaudhry told the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to block the social networking website after a the Islamic Lawyers' Movement brought a petition to the Lahore High Court.

The block came into force two hours later and is to last until 31 May. The order is on an interim basis while the court hears the case in detail. The PTA said it would implement it when the ministry of information technology officially orders it.

Thousands of Facebook users launched an online campaign to boycott the site. Depiction of the Prophet Mohammed is forbidden in Islam.

Seattle-based Molly Norris started the Mohammed drawing page as a protest against recent censorship of the South Park cartoon show. The US channel Comedy Central blocked an episode which featured the prophet in a bear suit.

In 2006, five people died when thousands took to the streets in Pakistan to protest against the publication of cartoons of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper.

 

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