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The ban that backfired

The ban that backfired

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post regarding the “Draw A Muhammad Day” controversy, highlighting the role of the social networking site Facebook. Let me begin by sharing some of the comments, Tweets and Facebook messages submitted in reaction to my last post (with the saner ones up top):

I have deactivated my Facebook account today, and I requested all my friends to deactivate their accounts on 19th May till 21st may to protest against this group. We demand the Facebook Team to remove the group “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” as soon as possible otherwise we will not use Facebook.

Here’s another:

To all those sending requests to join groups like 1) boycott Fb on 20th may 2) Leave fb and join twitter 3) create groups …to stand up against Prophet drawing day, is this the way to ‘counter’ those insults? In fact, we too, including me, insult our Prophet by not following his teachings! There are better ways to counter it, and you all know it.

And a third, of many:

Would banning of Facebook as a social networking forum by all the Muslims be the answer? I mean if it’s all Muslims it can hit them hard, their freedom of speech our freedom of choice.

There we have a few suggestions on how to pressurise Facebook by leading a mass deactivation campaign. Indeed, a plethora of counter groups condemning the campaign proposed a mass deactivation campaign as a reaction to Facebook’s failure to remove the offending page.

But by Tuesday night, the PTA had blocked access to the campaign’s fan page on account of it containing hate speech and blasphemous content. While discussions broke out questioning the block and whether it would hurt the campaign itself, the worse was still to come. Yesterday, in accordance with the decision of Lahore High Court, the PTA implemented a ban on social networking website until May 31 (isn’t it ironic that the LHC decided to take an immediate and strict stance on a matter like this as compared to the thousands of pending cases in more pressing matters)? The question arises: does a countrywide ban on Facebook ‘officially’ serve as condemnation? Is this the best possible way to counter the hate speech?

Facebook has expressed disappointment at the site’s banning in Pakistan, and is considering the possibility of blocking the offensive page within the country. That means the campaign page has still not been removed and can continue to be accessed (except from Pakistan). The hate speech on its discussion boards and various comics depicting Muhammad will remain on the site. But just because we cannot see it doesn’t mean it no longer exists.

It’s important at this point to clarify exactly what is offensive about the campaign, and for Pakistan to articulate what it is trying to achieve by banning several websites. If the main issue is “Draw A Muhammad Day,” then how is banning Facebook hurting the campaign? The Facebook forum is not the same as the campaign itself. The “Draw a Muhammad Day” website can still be accessed in Pakistan, and it has been updated with news on the campaign and some initial pictures. If anything, the outrage and the ban has served as a PR campaign for the event.

Meanwhile, on Facebook itself, more than 41,000 users joined one page dedicated to the “Draw A Muhammad Day” event, and another 4,400 users ‘liked’ a similar page. On the other hand, 56,000 users joined a Facebook page to oppose the campaign.

What we have here is an enraged audience condemning the hate mongering, but the counter-argument seems to be losing its sense of direction. Now, in the wake of the LHC ban, condemnations are being hurled against Facebook, rather than the campaign itself. The fact is, the failure of Facebook to remove the page doesn’t suggest its alliance or support of the campaign. The only thing Facebook can be accused of is remaining indifferent to its users concerns. But, I repeat, this has nothing to do with the campaign, Islam, Muslims, or hate speech.

As I write this, news is coming in that Blackberry services have been suspended across the country by the PTA in an extension of the LHC order to block Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, and YouTube. Rumour has it that Gmail will also be shut down. What’s next? Are we moving towards implementing a ban on the internet too?

The result of this banning spree is that the last thing most Pakistanis care about now is the issue of inciting hatred, and crafting an effective response to hate speech. Instead, we are now concerned about censorship, authoritarian tendencies in our government, and our own freedom of expression. Quoting some of the Tweets in response to this issue:

@adnanp: so much for “democracy” in pakistan. Wikipedia, youtube, flickr, facebook all banned!

@naveennaqvi: there’s no sense of civil disobedience in #Pakistan. the way to challenge the campaign was to protest it not to blank it!

@DrAwab: Worrisome – the PTA notification has no time limit starts now to no end

It is unfortunate that the government is taking staunch steps in banning social media websites across Pakistan in response to a campaign. As a result, what started as a group of hate mongers looking for attention has now turned in to a major source of inconvenience for internet users across Pakistan. As it seems the LHC finds no harm in banning these social media platforms, one must remind them that the very same online tools were mobilised to campaign during the judicial crisis.

This is a a sad day for new media in Pakistan. While many claim this to be a ‘victory’ against the offensive campaign, I feel at loss. The ban frenzy has only created a win-win situation for extremists on both sides. Instead of allowing people to opt for deactivating their accounts and registering their protests in the way they want, we have been forced to act like sheep once again, forced to jump on a bandwagon, and bear the burden of the perception that we are in fact an intolerant society.

Every individual should have the choice to protest or express their opinion in the way they want, a right that no one should be allowed to take away. I may choose not to use Facebook ever again, but I reserve the right to make that decision on my own.

sanasaleem80x80 Sana Saleem is a Features Editor at BEE magazine and blogs at Global Voices, Pro-Pakistan her personal blog Mystified Justice. She tweets at

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.


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187 Responses to “The ban that backfired”

  1. Ahsan says:

    I feel sorry to see all the comments that Muslims have written against the ban. Our Prophet P.B.U.H. has the highest status after Allah.

    • arsalan naqvi says:

      logically connect the two statements for me please?

      A. Prophet has the highest status after Allah
      B. Sorry for comments written against the ban

      First thing you have to establish is the following:
      Is the ban the right decision? If so, should we also ban the internet? After all, facebook is part of the internet. Should we keep banning everything?

  2. Imran Usman says:

    I would like to say simply as this: I don’t know weather or not ban on Facebook was rationalize but as Muslim I cannot support any thing that has in anyway hurt Islam, or Muhammad PBUH. So thats it for Facebook for me, and in my heart no matter how much I try to deny it, I am kind a happy about all this cause if nothing else at-least it would create awareness (may be a little) in people about Islam. As america tried to turn everybody against Muslims, cause of 9/11 more and more people became Muslim, as the danish picture started riots, people became more aware of Islam now there are thousands there. People don’t become Muslims because of current acts of Muslims but they become Muslims cause of Islam, and reading about the ways of Muhammad PBUH. As for the Facebook ban one day we will all have to answer to Allah and if Allah asked me question: “What did you do when My beloved prophet was under attack?”. I would like to proudly say I stopped supporting whomever attacked him, asked others to do it to and I supported the only people who would go against the attacker. So Pakistani government as corrupt as you may be, I support your decision to ban Facebook with all my heart.

    • Moin Khan says:

      What are you talking about? Do you even realize how naive you are sounding? 30,000 people converted after 9/11 and majority have reverted tp their original faith! In Denmark muslim population is on the rise due to unchecked immigration and higher birth rates NOT conversions.

      Islam has got a very bad name after 9/11 and Danish cartoons indecent and this Facebook bans gives more fuel to people mock Islam. No body knew about Muhammad cartoons till the time all the Mullahs started with their threats and rantings, Look now every non-muslims has or seen the cartoons with great admiration and will never move back, draw a cartoon day is a result of this moronic behavior.

      Especially, Pakistanis are hiding behind different nationalities to get acceptability abroad, when will people like you grow up and stop believing propaganda spewed by mullahs!

  3. Twangar Kazmi says:

    Hi everybody,

    In response to this post I have to say that Ms Sana has posted some valid points like how there’s a difference between social networking and the campaign its self… However we mustn’t forget that the objective of social networking sites is not to spread hatred and therefore must follow some ethical guidelines. So there are two point here , 1. in terms of facebook , facebook should not have remained indifferent regarding the opposition to the continuation of the blasphemous pages.
    and 2. We as nation, what SHOULD we have done… everyone should REALIZE that we must have some self respect. The Denmark people continue to commit such crimes, we cannot stop them by just sitting around, you guys saw what happened when people did react (telenor buildings being burned down etc.). Moreover banning of faecbook showed that we do not support such content… banning of youtube etc… came with the package. I think the objective was achieved as we made headlines on News channels like BBC and CNN regarding this matter !
    Peace .

  4. Nadeem Rizvi says:

    If we open a blog on FB regarding cartoons on so called Zionist ‘Holocaust’ of WWII, this insulting blog on Prophet Muhammad will shut down automatically.

  5. Rizwan says:

    Well I would say whatever was done by asking people to make cartoons was absolutely wrong.
    Reason being (It will also answer lot of comments here) lots and lots of religions are there in this world and nobody is allowed to make fun of anyone’s religion. By doing this is offensive because its one way of making fun. We MUSLIMS never did anything like making any cartoons of Jesus or any other religion then why anyone should do it?
    As far as people say PAKISTANIS should be tolerant, let me ask to all who think PAKISTANIS are more in-tolerant.
    But Prophet Muhammad is way way important and holly for Muslims , how would you think Muslims should not react? As far as Muslims in other Muslim countries are concerned, I don’t know they ever reacted to anything happening to Islam…….That is the reason we MUSLIMS are being treated badly every where because we are not united…..and I would agree and acknowledge that is biggest reason for
    Muslims to be in this bad situation in this world……….
    May God bless us with getting united so that non-Muslims should know how to respect our religion.

  6. Umair says:

    Dear All,

    These things(making of drawing & carricatures) were inevitable…reasons being alot. The foremost reason is that we ourselves are the biggest offender and blasphemer of Prophet (PBUH). we don’t follow his commands ordained in Quran or Ahdees.We all have our different interpretations of Islam, Quran and Ahdees.Our Saha-e-Sita are full of blasphemy.If someone starts narrating those things, we become violent, aggressive, start damaging, burning our own properties.we are never rationale and humane.

  7. KC says:

    For all those people who feel that Pakistan, or Muslims shouldn’t react like they are regarding that Facebook page. It’s ok to draw and insult Islam, but not ok to promote anything else that insulting to others? Every Muslim should be protesting this, and hats off to Pakistan for taking a lead, as the ONLY Muslim country to protest. Other Muslim countries should be ashamed of themselves.

  8. Tahir Ahmed says:

    We are not dead nation. We have our own value, belief and culture. AND our values and belief should dictate others action. All the world should follow our belief and act what our values dictate.

  9. Rashid says:

    Dear All ;

    With present Pakistani constitution ” Sketching of Hazarat Muhammad PBUM or even his close companion (Suhaba karam) is a crime” this law is well inaccordance of Islamic law.All over the world its wrong to hurt anybodies religious feelings .This should be applied to this case also
    Facebook should remove this page and also publish apology and modify his charter to prevent these issues
    Just come on guys,if anybody will sketch me or my beloved ones in form most hatred charecters I will complaint to concern authority and they will ban this thing.Why this not happening incase of our beloved Prophet.When facbook was aksed to ban it,they should immeditely remove this page and also ban particular user as they do it in case of individuals
    You just sketch me badly or write something wrong about me on any page, I will report abuse and page will be removed.
    Try to understand who is wrong
    According to Pakistani laws here is no other option than blocking facebook till they do what required

  10. samia saleem says:

    According to me it is an excellent decision made by our government.Muslims from all over the world should stop using facebook,as this would leave them with immense financial loss and damage to goodwill. think for a moment “would any of us like to shop form the trader who abuses our forefathers ..?
    obviously not. its an opportunity for our software developers and computer experts to launch a software /similar kind of social community with the motto to respect every religion.I can surely say that people from all over the world would switch to it … thus our govt. can generate revenues out of it instead of seeking for more and more debt and aid from west.

  11. Umair.N says:

    Why don’t people of Pakistan do something productive like protest against terrorism, or your govt. corruption, poverty, women rights, the slander of your religion by extremist, or the treatment of your religious minorities by some…..Just a thought. And burning flags of western countries is offensive too, considering probably half of your relatives live in those countries, by reacting the way they are reacting they are only satisfying what the people who made the page wanted.

  12. Zaheer Husaain says:

    We in New Jersey, USA have set May 31, 2010 as “Everybody Read About Prophet Muhammad Day.” So instead of going crazy with anger, let’s do something positive. These cartoonists want to see Muslims angry. They love to see Muslims protesting on the streets.

    Let’s spend some time on May 31, 2010 reading about Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. Read one hadeeth, one paragraph, one chapter, one book, whatever.

    Read it alone, with friends, with family. Read it at home, at masjid, any place.

    Let’s gain from the treasure that our Prophet is. The cartoonists aim is to annoy us. Our aim should be to help the humanity. That is what our prophet intended.

    • Rauf says:

      Good thought Mr. Husaain but our aim should not be to appease, please or help humanity in this instance.
      Let us begin by helping our own cause first.
      “Everybody read about prophet” I can assure will be happen in our homes or mosques. You arent on sites like fb…I can assume! Are the instigators going to read with us? No sir!
      Praise Him we are fairly well aquainted with many a Hadith. We are Muslims and we always mean well.Our love for our prophet has no limits. And this is the message we need to get across to the jokers.
      Make them read about the prophet so they benefit. For starters they can find “what they say about the prophet” on internet.
      And make every effort to avoid purchase of anything made in countries concerned.
      As Muslim we dont humiliate their faith. They should reciprocate.

      • Zaheer Hussain says:

        We need to refresh our memories on how our Prophet dealt with such people. His neighbor used to throw garbage at his door. What was his reaction? Did he boycott her or did he protest? Didn’t he visit her when she was sick? What was his reaction when Allah offered to destroy the people of Taif when they threw stones at him? What did he do when he conquered Makkah?

        We need to get the message across the way our Prophet got it across. That’s why we need to read.

        We need some excuse to read about the Prophet. When only one cartoon is published, thousands show up on streets. Why can’t we just dedicate a few minutes of one day to read about him?

        I am on facebook. And it was funny people in facebook were asking others to boycott facebook.

        The principal aim of all Muslims should be to help others enter Jannah. It is the aim of Iblees to make as many people go to jahannum as possible.

        We will not invite anyone to Islam by boycotting or protesting. The aim of the instigators is to annoy Muslims, and they love to see Muslims shouting on the streets.

        Pakistan makes headlines for protests be it cartoons or something else. Thousands of protestors show up in streets holding banners and shouting slogans. If these people read something about the Prophet, they will be able to handle such situations in a better manner.

        You can teach the instigators all the time. Log on to any newspaper story that deals with Islam, you will see hundreds of comments. You can respond to them and you can make them read about the Prophet.

        More and more people are accepting Islam during these debates.

  13. Zaheer Hussain says:

    We in New Jersey, USA have set May 31, 2010 as “Everybody Read About Prophet Muhammad Day.” So instead of going crazy with anger, let’s do something positive. These cartoonists want to see Muslims angry. They love to see Muslims protesting on the streets.

    Let’s spend some time on May 31, 2010 reading about Prophet Muhammad, pbuh. Read one hadeeth, one paragraph, one chapter, one book, whatever.

    Read it alone, with friends, with family. Read it at home, at masjid, any place.

    Let’s gain from the treasure that our Prophet is. The cartoonists aim is to annoy us. Our aim should be to help the humanity. That is what our prophet intended.

  14. Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad says:

    Sana Saleem, remember, Islam never allows Muslims to offer other cheek, if slapped on one. Under the circumstances, it must be an eye for an eye. Have everybody forgotten the reaction of the Jews and the west on the recent statements of Iranian leadership on holocaust. “What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

  15. Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmad says:

    Sana Saleem, I totally disagree with your suggestion.

    In fact, I am going to write to the SG OIC, with the proposal to immediately direct, all 54 member countries, to plug off Fb from their usage, like Pakistan has done it.

    And Inshaallah, you will see the result of boycott of 1.5 billion Muslim population. The Fb people will come to OIC begging with apology and requesting to be excused.

    You are also requested to reconsider your proposal and play your role in uniting the Muslim Ummah, against the heinous conspiracies against our belief and faith.

    • Shaukat says:

      It is sad how Pakistan responded to the drawings of Prophet. Just think what Prophet did when he was insulted. He would respond by kind gestures.
      Let any one draw what ever they want to draw. All we prove by our behavior is that Muslims are irrational. People of Pakistan have much more serious problems such as poverty and lack of education which they need to address.
      Stop protesting and start working for betterment of the country.

    • arsalan naqvi says:

      Syed Nayyar Uddin Ahmed-

      Read all the posts on this forum. Then tell me, from your observation, does it appear that we (the people, mostly muslim, that posted on this blog) are in agreement of whether we should protest against the girl who started the “draw Mohd day” group? I have read a lot of posts, and I conclude that there is no consensus. people seem divided to me.

      So then, why do you assume that magically, after your letter to SG OIC, all muslims will become united?

      Most muslims believe that great injustices are being committed against muslims in Israel, in Kashmir (among other places). To me that is a much more important issue. The muslim community hasn’t united to stand up against those injustices. You think they would stand up against facebook now?

    • Azeem says:

      Exactly! You should protest but you should not ban!

      Considering the role of OIC, I am not sure if this organisation has done anything credible for muslims anywhere at any time… let alone this stance! Go try your luck with that as well!

  16. SR says:

    Sana, very well said. I fail to understand why is that its only Pakistan in the whole world who is banning and restricting these sites, why not the other Muslim countries. We are so much ready to enrage and infuriate people. We always deal with things which we should avoid, we always find a way to get a bad name all over the world.

  17. Eilya says:

    It is interesting to see the reactions amongst the Pakistani people regarding the competition of drawing our Prophet and the ban on youtube. There are many people who have recognized that in our daily lives we fail to follow the sunnah and we fail to qualify as good PEOPLE. The material available on youtube has ALWAYS been there and without a check. In all countries they control the content and block the material that is not appropriate, but Pakistan does not realize this and when they do, they BAN everything. As far as facebook is concerned, be rational. There are ways to stop that competition from happening, there are ways to report that page as bogus. By blocking facebook in Pakistan, it will not stop the competition from happening. People who want to refrain from using facebook, they have their right but those who don’t want to, they are not liable to decisions made in utter confusion. In all, which other ISLAMIC REPUBLIC has banned facebook and youtube after the appearance of this page?

  18. Irfan Khan says:

    The site is also banned for some reason by Nayatel/Micronet in Islamabad.

  19. Rashid says:

    Pakistani nation must have patience, tolerate ignorance of others, and do not show emotions by carrying demonstration on the streets. There are people in the world who are flawed, and will keep attacking or insulting others’ faith.

  20. Rauf says:

    Bottom line: Mutual respect for every world citizen – esp towards their belief! Avoid spreading hate in any way.
    Can we do that? Can they do that?
    I hope so.

  21. sushmith menon says:

    So long as Religion is NOT separated from the State these kind of issues will hold back Pakistan and the Islamic world at large. In the USA as in other true democracies, people have the right to speak their mind openly. Just because the Islamic world does not allow this freedom, you cannot think that you can impose your harshness on others in the world.

    • Syed says:

      Who is imposing its harshness on others? Nobody should be allowed to make fun of anybody’s religion. It is Pakistan’s right to block or unblock. Where is free speech in Austria and Germany when you can get arrested just for mentioning that holocaust did not happen. Where is free speech/expression when there are restrictions on hijab in some countries in Europe. That is imposing your harshness. The west has free speech only when it is good for them.

  22. Farook Ali says:

    We’re focusing on something which is not mandatory and totally disregarding what is mandatory. We’re so occupied in order to respond to a satanic act committed by Kafirs which they do time and again and why do they do it time and again because we’re morally at our worst we don’t have men like Noor ud din Zangi, and this is so because we aren’t doing what is mandatory i.e. to obey and follow the teachings of the Prophet (S.a.w), regrettably we’re not on the line, as such we’re insulting Him more and more, we’re the cause of His discontentment, Kafirs aren’t insulting Him it is us, we’re required to be rectified and corrected not them they’re Kafirs and they’ll do what they have to, we shouldn’t do anything which transform us as Kafirs, did we try to analyze what we’re doing ? We’re just reacting, we’re not responding because we are as I said at our worst so think about it!!!!

    • Umair says:

      Well Said, Farook…

      • Rauf says:

        Not quite sure of what you are trying to say.
        To respect our prophet is MANDATORY. You pray for him and you praise him in your salah. You have been ordained so by Allah.
        Think about it!!!!

  23. Red-Listed says:

    Wow….According to Cnn 7800 pics where uploaded to that page….facebook didn’t take action on it…its time to reply back…i will deactivate my facebook account..will you…decision is your….
    that my new campaign for facebook… i am very happy LHc did this…and people who thing its a political ban they are fool…youth of Pakistan did this…they played very important role in it..

    i am happy world got that news from Pakistan… we need to awake OIC…..

    • Rauf says:

      7800 pics?
      That’s is not short of hate mongering.
      No other group, community, society, faith or what have you will tolerate this kind of hate against their own. Yet many writers here think we mustnt ban/boycot this fb! I hope this changes their view and every Muslim de-activates their dealings with them.
      Go on. Show your love for our beloved prophet.

  24. Rafa says:

    I don’t hear any Indian muslim demanding ban on facebook , although I am sure most of them are condemning this act. Does that mean , Indian muslims are not muslims ? This act by the government of Pakistan portrays a very bad image of muslims world wide , it portrays Islam as very intolerant religion, which I feel is incorrect depiction.

    don’t be a cry baby pakistan , try to learn that there will be people who will disagree with you and that doesn’t mean that you should close your door and windows not to hear it. If you don’t like it , ignore it , but please don’t make issue out of it.

    • KC says:

      Rafa, that’s because Indian Muslims are Indian first, and Muslims second. They don’t care. Non-muslims LOVE those Muslims that don’t react to any type of insults thrown at them in any form.

    • Mohsin P says:

      Well said @Rafa. Can’t agree with you more. This kind of intolerance begets more provocation. Ignoring it will make it go away but that is one trick the mullahs have never learned. The only explanation I can think of is that the Indian Muslims have grown up in a more secular environment and are decidedly more tolerant. However this is not to say that India is completely free of religious tensions.

    • syed ahmed kazmi says:

      Answering to your question Rafa, although i’m not an Indian neither an Indian Muslim, but as you just asked that whether Indian Muslims are Muslims or non-Muslims?, the thing is that the banning of Facebook in Pakistan is because that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic Country and for us these things does matter but for India and India’s economy it absolutely does not because they are not Muslims neither there Govt. May be quarter of the people living in India are Muslims so they can’t really help with what ever the issues or the scenario is, although they must be having hard time. But that’s the only reason up to what i can think that Indian Muslims can not really take an action just because they are in minority. And i’m not even in Pakistan i’m in US but we still condemn this act. Hopefully this could make a little bit sense.Thank you.

      • Erum says:

        Just a correction. There are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan which doesn’t make them a Minority !

      • vijay says:


        Just for your information. The Indian government has pro actively banned the access to the events page. This was done very silently. So much for a demaocracy.

        I m not sure if the Indian muslims would have rioted for a ban, but taking a clue from past experience where removing the Eid – milad flags after a month provoked riots in Hyederabad, the govt might have decided to ban it anyway.

    • Adil memonn says:

      getta life :)

      life is beyong watching friends pix and status on fb, maybe we are Muslim ? maybe we have dignity? maybe we Value somthing?

      so maybe you can tolerate the govt? for probably the 1 good step it has taken in ages?

      maybe you can seek a life for urself beyond a social website?


      • Shifa Haidry says:

        hahahahah… very well said!

        God such a fuss over banning facebook and these poeple want us to not make any fuss over something that should be fussed about… what hypocrisy.

    • Fawad Siddiqui says:

      It’s not like that !! Such a reaction is necessary. We are not a dead nation. We have our own values, beliefs, culture. An alive nation should not allow anyone to play with it’s emotions and beleifs. We should be proud that we are the only Muslim country who took that bold step.

      • arsalan naqvi says:

        What values do we have? deceit, corruption, murder, torture. since we have limited resources, are we better off fixing our own society, or should we focus on fighting this girl that started the “draw Mohd day” group?

    • saba says:

      Thats not a valid argument! by supporting blasphemous offensive content what image is the west portraying . Pakistan is muslim majority country . We have laws that support our muslim identity. Its part of our constitution. Kudos to the govt for implementing the ban !

      • Armughan says:

        Guys the simple thing is that facebook earns and sustains via the traffic coming in on its website… So if all muslims united stop using facebook the traffic will decline drastically and so down the drain will go Facebook… the question is who owns facebook? ponder on that fact and you will not want to use it anyway

        Indian muslims are muslims too so lets no judge them on that but they also need to be united with the rest … which i am sure, if a forum like OIC or Arab League sponsor banning of FB, will happen.

  25. hassan javed warraich says:

    please ban facebook permanently.. and youtube as well.. this is not freedom of speech , this is hate speech, ignorance speech..!!

    we need to ban consumer products of such ountries supporting facebook. we dont need to import .. its time to be honest to ourselves.. we containate our products to earn more money, not realizing we are hurting our own people , who then turn to these foreign products.. its time to wake up. we are muslims first , than anything else.

    • Amber says:

      Stop using the internet then

    • Rational Thinker says:

      Religion has hardly proved to be a binder my friend.The sectarian violence in Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh buried that concept long ago. Just by the virtue of being a muslim you have little in common with an Arab or Indonesian.

    • Abdul Rehman says:

      Aware & beware the pakistan is thriving with the support of foreign aid. imagin the life in pakistan if we put ban on consumer products of such countries supporting face book.

      • Usman says:

        Its not gonna continue forever….. the aid and the so called support given by such countries. Imagine life when these people close the taps of luxuries, when we will be more engulfed in them.

        I doubt if the infant mortality rate is going to increase, if we ban such products, websites and countries forever. Or for that matter any problem is going to arise in the long run.

        Do we have no chances of survival without these products, websites and aid of countries?

    • Umar says:

      Sir I understand your feelings but seriously, we, Pakistan, cannot afford to stop trade with those country on their consumer products. Much of Pakistan’s economy depends on it. Pakistan is a developing country and though it “may” (there is a chance it may not) have the resources to develop those consumer goods, the country is not developed enough to exploit them. Much of the consumer goods developed in Pakistan depend on imports of raw materials or capital goods from those foreign countries. Pakistan’s major partners in trade do include USA, Germany and UK (western Non Muslim countries).
      We are a nation that is united on religion. Our religion Islam teaches us religious tolerance. So we must fight against such threatening activities against Muslims but we cannot force Non Muslim States to accept our beliefs because in doing so we would be forcing them to accept our religion and the Quran guides us that there is no compulsion in religion. We must remember how the pagans of Arab threatened and persecuted the Prophet and we must stand against the Non Muslims today for the respect of our beloved Prophet. But we must also remember the Prophet’s actions and his words and we must not transgress our limits. We must influence others with our conduct to have them accept our beliefs.
      I do agree with the ban on the sites, but it would have been much more effective if other Muslim countries had supported us and did the same. Without international support there is really no point to the ban and so we must approach the matter with a different reaction to oppose it.

    • Robert says:

      I appreciate your wonderfull ideas of putting a ban on what you mentioned. But one thingh I can’t understand that what you are doing on this product called internet. This is not Pakistani product. Take my advice, you better go to the hills to live your remaing life than living with civilised comunity with bad intention.Every Muslims Knows their Religious Duties. “FIRST YOU BE A GOOD MUSLIM FOR YOUR SELF”

      • arsalan naqvi says:

        great observation robert.

        FIRST YOU BE A GOOD MUSLIM FOR YOUR SELF. once you do that, I can guaranttee you that you will not feel disrespected by the west anymore.

  26. Ibn-e-Maryam says:

    Very good article. I am pleased that people have courage to say, what needs to be said, even in this hypocritical society.

  27. Sadaf says:

    I am an artist and was running my business through Face Book freely… taking orders and making customer for art work and paintings,, ….religion is only between God and a Human.. lets not make it a political issue… If we loved Islam that much,,, was PTA sleeping for so many years when un-Islamic content was there on u tube and some other? Were they in COMA? Nope ;;; we r being fooled in the name of religion only….by political parties…It is only a way to stop our tongues and control media,, and journos…thats it…. The same boys who were in favor of this ban… sent disrespectful kind of mails….Where does religion goes that time? “I am in favor of ban, hey give me your cell number,, u look very cute” fake standards and double faced behavior……

  28. ksk says:

    Hey i am a Pakistani, but I am not religious. I am atheist. I want facebook. Do I have this simple right or am I not allowed to have my free rights and thoughts because I am atheist. Even if Pakistan does not allow me to practice my free thoughts, atheist, I am still a proud Pakistani. How many of you accept me as Pakistani if I dont practice Islam?

    Will Dawn even post my free thoughts/comment?

  29. Sheikh Chilli says:

    I dont know where the things going but i’m against the ban on these sites.

  30. Muhammad.Quddus says:

    “This is a sad day for new media in Pakistan”, the writer writes. This is not new. In the name of blocking the communist literature, The Auyub clique made sure the education centers in Pakistan would not print any thing associated with communism. In the year 1959, this step pleased both home and abroad who had the stake in fighting that particular dogma. Those who wish to ban or to censor only expose themsleves as weak.

    • arsalan naqvi says:

      Its glad to read that at least some people in our country have the wisdom to sort out the truth.

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