Pakistan Ban Facebook! – Lahore High Court (LHC) Orders Ban on Facebook Over Caricatures (

mcm2 hal la plak kat pakistan ni

facebook pun dah kena ban kat sini. hehe

seb baik ada cara lain nak masuk facebook kan.

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source here

LAHORE: A Pakistani court Wednesday ordered authorities to block Facebook in the country over a page encouraging users to post caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on the site.

Thousands of members of the social networking site have launched an online campaign demanding a boycott of Facebook over the offending page.

The depiction of any prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam as blasphemous and Muslims across the world staged angry protests over the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) in European newspapers in 2006.

A Facebook user set up a page called “Draw Mohammed Day”, allegedly inviting people to send in their caricatures of the Muslim Prophet on May 20.

Justice Ejaz Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court directed the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to block Facebook after a group of lawyers moved a petition in the court.
An interim order has been issued until May 31, when the court is to start a detailed hearing of the case.

A spokesman said PTA would move to implement the ban once the order has been issued by the ministry of information technology.

“We will implement the order as soon as we get the instructions,” Khurram Mehran told AFP.

“We have already blocked the URL link and issued instruction to Internet service providers yesterday,” he said.

Members of the social networking site told AFP on Wednesday that they were still able to access Facebook.

“We moved the petition in the wake of widespread resentment in the Muslim community against the Facebook contest,” lawyer Rai Bashir told AFP.

The petition also called on the government to lodge a strong protest with the owners of Facebook, he added.

Bashir said a PTA official told the judge his organisation had blocked the page, but the court ordered a total ban on the site.

About 20 people demonstrated outside court in the eastern city of Lahore, carrying banners condemning Facebook and praising the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

“The court has also ordered the foreign ministry to investigate why such a competition is being held,” Azhar Siddique, a representative of the Islamic Lawyers Forum who filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, told Reuters.

Some warned the court’s response could backfire.

“Blocking the entire website would anger users, especially young and adults, because the social networking website is so popular among them and they spend most of their time on it,” said the CEO of Nayatel, Wahaj-us-Siraj.

“Basically, our judges aren’t technically sound. They have just ordered it, but it should have been done in a better way by just blocking a particular URL or link.”

“The PTA’s decision (to block the URL) was rational and good, but let’s see how they will implement the court decision.”

On the information page on Facebook for the contest – which was still visible on Wednesday – the organizers described it as a “snarky” response to Muslim bloggers who “warned” the creators of the Comedy Central television show “South Park” over a recent depiction of the Prophet (PBUH) in a bear suit.

“We are not trying to slander the average Muslim,” the Facebook page creators wrote. “We simply want to show the extremists that threaten to harm people because of their Mohammad depictions that we’re not afraid of them. That they can’t take away our right to freedom of speech by trying to scare us into silence.”

Publications of similar cartoons in Danish newspapers in 2005 sparked deadly protests in Muslim countries. Around 50 people were killed during violent protests in Muslim countries in 2006 over the cartoons, five of them in Pakistan.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Denmark’s embassy in Islamabad in 2008, killing six people, saying it was in revenge for publication of caricatures.

Islamic party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam welcomed the court order and called for a complete ban on all Western websites “promoting liberal culture and obscenity”.

“The West, Europe and America are doing such things deliberately to hurt Muslims and to create divides between Islam and other religions,” said a senior party member Mohammad Riaz Durrani.

“They are doing this because the want to use such sentiments to continue their war on terror justifying extremism within Islam,” he told AFP.

But fans of Facebook, which is wildly popular among the urban, educated and generally moderate elite in Pakistan, were dismayed by the court order.

“What if they will ban it permanent? I will move out somewhere else,” one user wrote on his Facebook status update.

Another user said the court order was “crazy”.

“This is like spreading extremism as if nobody knew about this page. Now everyone knows,” she told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“People are sensible and if you don’t like that page you don’t go on that page,” she said, calling for moderation.

Pakistan briefly banned YouTube in February 2008 in a similar protest against “blasphemous” cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on the popular website.

YouTube said an Internet service provider complying with Pakistan’s ban routed many worldwide users to nowhere for a couple of hours, which sparked a worldwide outage.


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