After the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) banned Facebook in Pakistan, with a permanent ban looming over, users of the social networking website have been asking the same question: Why was such a blasphemous page even launched?
Members of religious groups and students from various organisations have been protesting over the last one-week to register their anger against the shameful act.
“The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is a Jew and this has been done on purpose. It’s not the first time, as previously such blasphemous caricatures have been published in newspapers abroad,” a protesting student, Amna told Daily Times.
She added, “We are ordinary people, we have never intended to harm anyone, yet these people have used a social networking site to hurt the feelings of millions of Muslims, which is totally unacceptable.”
An American cartoonist, Molly Norris from Seattle, drew an irreligious caricature in April to protest against the decision of the US television channel Comedy Central to cancel an episode of the popular show South Park over its blasphemous depiction of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). In her cartoon, Molly satirically proposed May 20 as the day to draw such sketches.
The page quickly turned up on Facebook but Molly, writing on her website, said she had nothing to do with it. The page has been condemned by youngsters, students, the Punjab Union of Journalists, celebrities and musicians alike. They have demanded that the responsible people should apologise for this immoral act.
Decision appreciated: The PTA decision to ban Facebook in Pakistan and its related sites has been appreciated by citizens, but they have made it loud and clear that the people responsible for this act need to apologise.
Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said the issue of caricatures had already been raised at the Council for Human Rights, the Organisation of Islamic Conference and the United Nations General Assembly. “Now Facebook is being used to do the same thing and it is not acceptable at any level. We are looking forward to bring like-minded countries together on this issue and form a strategy to seek apology from the responsible people,” he said.
A Muslim solution: However, it’s about time that Muslim computer experts came forward and designed a website similar to Facebook so that millions of Muslim users switch to it, he added.