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Pakistan blocks YouTube over blasphemous material

May 20, 2010 by Post Team 

Pakistan blocks YouTube over blasphemous material:ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube in a bid to contain blasphemous material, officials said Thursday.

The blockade came just hours after the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directed Internet service providers, prevent access to social network Facebook on Wednesday indefinitely due to an online competition to draw the Prophet Muhammad (peace be him) in flagrant violation of fundamental human rights relating to religion.

Wahaj-us-Siraj, CEO of Nayatel, an Internet service provider, said PTA on Wednesday issued an order seeking an “immediate” blocking YouTube.

“It was a very serious statement that we wanted to do it quickly and let you know after that,” he said when speaking to a news agency in the UK.

YouTube was blocked also in the Islamic country in 2007 for about a year, so called non-Islamic videos.

A PTA official, who requested anonymity, said the action was taken after authorities determined that some sacrilegious cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were moved from Facebook to YouTube.

The depiction of any prophet is considered un-Islamic and blasphemous in Islam, let alone a cartoon or a caricature of these divine personages.

Siraj said the blocking of the two websites it would cut up to 25 percent of total Internet traffic in Pakistan.

“It will have an impact on Internet traffic in general and eat 20-25 percent of the country’s total 65 gigabytes of traffic,” he said.

The publications of similar cartoons in Danish newspapers in 2005 sparked violent protests in Muslim countries. About 50 people were killed during violent protests in Muslim countries over cartoons in 2006, five of them in Pakistan.

Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on Denmark embassy in Islamabad in 2008, killing six people, saying it was in retaliation for the publication of the cartoons.

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