Pakistan Blocks Facebook Over Mohammed Page

Angry rallies protest 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 19, 2010 10:42 AM CDT
Pakistan Blocks Facebook Over Mohammed Page
A Pakistani student shouts slogans at a rally against Facebook page "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, May 19, 2010.   (Anjum Naveed)

Pakistan ordered Internet service providers to block Facebook today after a court ruling banning a page inviting users to post images of Muhammad. The Facebook page at the center of the dispute—"Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!"—prompts users to post images of the prophet tomorrow to protest threats against the creators of "South Park" for depicting Mohammed in a bear suit earlier this year. A group of Islamic lawyers won a court order requiring the site to be blocked until May 31, the AP reports.

By this evening, access to the site was sporadic, apparently because Internet providers were implementing the order. In the southern city of Karachi, about 2,000 female students rallied demanding that Facebook be banned for tolerating the page. Several dozen male students held a rally nearby, with some holding signs urging Islamic holy war against those who blaspheme the prophet. "We are not trying to slander the average Muslim," said the information section of the Facebook page, which was still accessible this morning. "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." (Read more Pakistan stories.)

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