May 19th, 2010
10:40 AM ET

Pakistan shuts down Facebook over 'Draw Mohammed' Day

Pakistan is blocking access to Facebook in response to an online group calling on people to draw the Prophet Mohammed, officials said Wednesday.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority issued the order a day before "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day," scheduled by a Facebook group with the same name.

"Obviously it (the blocking of Facebook) is related to the objectionable material that was placed on Facebook. That is why it is blocked," said Khoram Ali Mehran of the telecommunication authority.

"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," he told CNN by phone.

The organization has not received any complaints from internet users about the blocking of Facebook so far, he said. Devout Muslims consider it offensive to depict Mohammed.

There were riots around the world in response to a series of cartoons of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper in 2005, and at least two European cartoonists live under police protection after publication of their drawings of the Muslim prophet.

The administrators of the "Draw Mohammed" group did not immediately respond to a CNN e-mail.

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Filed under: Facebook • Pakistan • Technology • World
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Son of Adam

    ...and the victims of propaganda strike again.

    Islam is a religion of peace – a phrase often heard, but seldom believed. We tend to think otherwise because CNN and other news channels are ranting on it 24/7 about the masses killed by Muslim terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq, or wherever. Wake up call: these terrorists are not Muslims! They're imposters, posing as Muslims and paid by certain organizations to depict Islam as a religion of barbarianism and cruelty to the Western world. If these people don't go by the rules of the Qur'an, they have no right to be called Muslims. And to the people who say that the terrorists are Muslims: believing something that the media tells you with such ease is just a sign of how narrow-minded and idiotic people can be sometimes. Nowhere in Islam is it even thought tolerable for a person to even think of harming innocent people, whatever religion or race they may be from.

    Freedom of speech? Yes, everyone has a right to it and Islam is not against it. But do you know what sets humans apart from the rest of the animals? It's our intelligence, and with that intelligence comes decision making. We can control our thoughts and we possess free will, whereas animals must do what they do everyday and repeat the same routine over and over again. When a dog barks, he expresses freedom of speech. When a man shows control over himself, holds his opinion in, until he truly knows what he is talking about, that, my friend, is called 'freedom of speech.'

    Muslims don't disrespect Jesus or Moses despite of what their so-called followers may have done. Because Muslims know that the fault is not in the preacher himself, because the preachers only preach what God orders them to preach. And to say that the preacher was wrong is to say that God was wrong. And without a doubt, God is never wrong. The people who offend other religions just reflect what their religion teaches. But I can't judge a religion by just taking a few people as example (but then again, these offenders weren't paid by anyone to do this, but were misguided nonetheless). And the Muslims just don't engage in such acts because it's not okay in their book to do so. And true Muslims go by their book.

    Grow up, people. For anyone who possesses even a bit of respect for religions, this act depicts how immature and senseless people can be. But I guess it's not completely their fault. People are afraid of what they don't know and naturally tend to be offensive towards it, without any second thoughts about what they're doing. They just reflect what has been fed to them. Hence, the victims of propaganda strike again...

    May 21, 2010 at 6:25 am | Report abuse |
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