No More Facebook Login as Pakistan Court Orders Temporary Ban
If you make something as amazing as Facebook, which is the world’s most popular social networking website, you can be sure that controversy will not be far behind. Here’s the controversy - Facebook was banned by a court in Pakistan on 19th May, 2010. However, the ban is temporary and the use of Facebook is prohibited until 31st May, 2010. The telecommunications authority of Pakistan has been directed by Justice Ejaz Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court to block Facebook till 31st May, 2010.
No More Facebook Login Due to Online Sketches of the Prophet
The legal ban on Facebook was the Pakistan government's reaction to a page on Facebook known as "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day." Clearly, no more facebook login will be permitted in Pakistan till the specified date is over. This controversy began because a page on Facebook encourages users to take part in a competition to publish online sketches and cartoons of the holy personage, Prophet Muhammad.
Let’s not forget that Muslims consider the sketches of Prophet Muhammad as an act of blasphemy i.e. showing disrespect towards a holy person or religious beliefs and customs. Blasphemy is strictly forbidden in Islam. This particular page of Facebook has drawn lots of criticism from several Muslims mainly from Muslim Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
In fact, Muslim activists and religious extremists have set up online operations to draw this issue to the attention of the concerned authorities. The Pakistani law minister, Babar Awan stated that the matter will be raised at an international level.
A special assembly of lawyers known as the Islamic Lawyers’ Movement has also asked for blanket ban on the social networking site, by filing a petition in the Court. The telecommunication department of Pakistan has been directed by the Lahore High Court to submit a written reply to the appeal by 31st May, 2010.
No More Facebook Login Till the Controversy on Caricatures is Resolved
A situation of unrest has already begun in Pakistan leading various people in Karachi to step out to streets to show their protest and condemnation against the particular page on Facebook. In 2006, a similar controversy arose in Pakistan, when a Danish newspaper published caricatures of Prophet Muhammad. Thousands of people were killed and several banks, restaurants and gas station, which were affiliated to western companies, were burnt.
Across centuries, religion has always been glorified as a positive and harmonious energy that brings individuals closer to their real selves through worship of God. A peek into the pages of world history will show us that millions of people have been sacrificed needlessly in the name of religion. This can end only when we, as individuals, are able to question and look at religion as something that inspires, rather than as a tool of destruction.
No More Facebook Login: What do You Say?
Vikrant Sharma, one of our avid readers, shared unique thoughts about the concept of free Internet by stating "The users and developers have to exercise caution when dealing with sensitive elements like religion and politics. Even in India, rights like freedom of speech and freedom of expression are granted with some legal and constitutional controls so that they are not misused. For Pakistan, which follows Islamic laws, banning Facebook until the concerned application/page is withdrawn may be the right thing to do to control a potential religious outrage. I think what we need to understand is the reason behind the ban by a judicial organization. The reason probably is not blasphemy only but also the tension that it can create if allowed to be continued."