Pakistan Bans Facebook, YouTube for Blasphemy

Paul Lilly

Facebook and YouTube are now both banned in Pakistan , and as you might have guessed, the beef stems from caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed appearing on the social sites, according to an AP report.

"We strongly condemn the publication of blasphemous caricatures of our holy Prophet on Facebook," foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told reporters in the capital Islamabad. "They are committing these acts in the garb of freedom of press, which is not acceptable to us. Such malicious and insulting attacks hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world."

It all started when a private user on Facebook asked people to submit drawings of the Prophet Mohammed in an online competition. Islam prohibits the depiction of any prophet as blasphemous, and such things have a way of turning into riots, and sometimes worse. In 2008, a suicide attack outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad took the lives of eight victims. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility to avenge the publication of satirical cartoons of Mohammed in European newspapers in 2006.

Facebook is currently considering whether to make the offending page inaccessible in Pakistan.

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