Facebook page that led to Pakistani ban removed

May 22, 2010 by Post Team 

Pakistan FacebookFacebook page that led to Pakistani ban removed:ISLAMABAD – A Facebook page that was deemed offensive to Islam and led to the prohibition of Pakistan at the site has been removed, possibly by its creator.

Facebook said on Friday it had not taken any decision on the site, which had attracted more than 100,000 users and encourages users to post images of the Prophet Mohammed, allegedly in support of freedom of expression.

Most Muslims consider any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, as blasphemy.

Najibullah Malik, Secretary of the Ministry of Information Technology Pakistan, said Friday that the government was forced to shut down Facebook on Wednesday after a court order to do so.

“We know that some people are suffering because of this blockade, but we have to obey the court order in letter and spirit,” said Malik.

Pakistan said it would consider the restoration of Facebook and other sites with related content only if the pages are set considered offensive to Islam.

There was no immediate information on whether the government was lifting the embargo.

Facebook page called “Everyone Mohammed Drawing Day!”, Had declared on Thursday as the day to call Mohammed, it was possible that the creator came down on Friday because the site has served its purpose.

Facebook page encourages users to post images of the prophet to protest threats from a radical Muslim group against the creators of the American television series “South Park” to represent Muhammad in bear suit during an episode in early this year.

Meanwhile, Seattle artist Molly Norris, whose satirical cartoons that require a “Draw Mohammed Everybody Day” inspired the Facebook page, said in a message on his website that he referred to his work just to be a commentary on the “South Park” controversy.

“I did a story on the television program South Park censored,” he wrote. “I’ve never started a Facebook page. I apologize to the people of Muslim faith and ask that this” day “is suspended.”

Other sites have also been affected in the country, officials are scrambling to block content related to the Facebook page. English language site Wikipedia and Flickr photo-sharing site sporadically also available on Friday.

It was not the first time that representations of the prophet have enraged Muslims. In 2005, the cartoons of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, which provoked protests and riots by Muslims around the world, including Pakistan, where protests turned violent.

There have been several demonstrations against Facebook in recent days.

Others – mostly members of the more secular, educated elite – accused the government of blocking freedom of expression and hurt small firms that use Facebook for marketing. Many questioned the need for all the Facebook and YouTube sites to be blocked, rather than individual pages.

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