Facebook: closed book

Published: May 20, 2010
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Internet cafes put up notices across Karachi after the government temporarily blocked access to Facebook on a court order. (AFP)

Internet cafes put up notices across Karachi after the government temporarily blocked access to Facebook on a court order. (AFP)

KARACHI: Our social lives improved with the advent of Facebook.

Theatre, music, plays, standup comedy, invitations for all sorts of events poured in. People even organised protests through Facebook. But when Facebook itself is banned… “If the ban is lifted by the 31st as we have heard, then we have no issues,” said Mashal, who works with the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, a non-government organisation.

“But if the ban continues for longer we may have problems getting in touch with people and informing them about our events.” Not just that, but students use the website to apply to CAP for internships and the summer session is just starting. They are also apprehensive about their ongoing oral history project which relies on Facebook quite a bit. Facebook was a boon for small businesses whether it was to make contacts or introduce a new line of clothing. And one can argue that it has helped many people do a lot of good.

For example, Zimmedar Shehri, a group of students who pick up trash and have now expanded from Lahore to Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, Faisalabad and Sargodha, uses Facebook to tell their volunteers about their meetings. Bilawal Shaikh sends invites to the 300 members on their Karachi page through Facebook every Thursday so that enough people gather every Sunday to pick up trash. Murtaza Hasnain, vice-president of Zimmedar Shehri, told The Express Tribune that the ban will not be as problematic in Karachi as the organisation is still in its infancy, and runs mostly through personal contacts. “The disaster will happen in Lahore because we have over 2,800 members on that page and we can’t possibly inform each one of them,” he added.

For other non-government organisations, the issue is larger than just contacting people. The director of Peace Niche, Sabeen Mahmud, said that she is more concerned that the government has yet again robbed people of their civil liberties. She is less troubled by the effects this ban could have on her business. The Peace Niche invites people to its events, such as book launches, stand-up comedy acts and poetry recitations, through a variety of ways that include Facebook, mailing lists, Twitter, Google calendar and its website. “Facebook helped us attract younger people but we survived before Facebook became so popular and we will manage if the ban continues for longer,” she said.

However, Mahmud felt that the Facebook administration should have removed the page from their site since they have an option for users to ‘report’ anything offensive. “They must have certain parameters to remove sites or profiles that have been reported as offensive and they should have used that authority to remove that site,” she added. In addition to small businesses, many people who used the social networking website felt that some part of their life had been shut off. “It doesn’t make sense to ban Facebook because of what someone is doing in some other part of the world,” argued Bilawal Shaikh, a 23-year-old consultant.

He felt that as long as the owner of Facebook did not make that page, it made no sense to block the site. “Why should our government limit our freedom to visit whichever site we want to,” he said. Others had a more personal problem with the ban. Twentyeight year-old Khadija, whose boyfriend lives abroad had this to say: “As it is I don’t have a love life. With Facebook gone, I have nothing to occupy my time anymore!”

Published in the Express Tribune, May 20th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (62)

  • dk
    May 20, 2010 - 1:16AM

    Shame on them who like bussiness and lover more then our prophet..:(Recommend

  • Fawwad
    May 20, 2010 - 1:24AM

    Height of stupidity to have Facebook banned. Why is Pakistan the only country in the world to do these things? Blogspot and YouTube have been banned here In the past. These bans only highlight and encourage the people who make these carricutures; these people become famous. This new ban has only made the said Facebook page more popular, they couldn’t have asked for anything better. Since Pakistan’s people are so interested in banning such things why not just ban the Internet and be done with it. After all, the Internet is full of “objectionable” material. I think it was foolish to ban Facebook. Rather, an opposing group should have been started on Facebook itself. Whenever I think that nothing worse can happen to malign Pakistan’s name in the world something new and much worse happens. We as a nation are considered one of the most intolerant nations as it is. This just adds to it. The government, judiciary and the people of Pakistan need to use the pen, or might I say the mouse to write, start an opposing group or deactivate their facebook accounts voluntarily if they feel so strongly about this. Force of any kind is wrong; this ban is wrong.  Recommend

  • Fatima
    May 20, 2010 - 1:31AM

    Banning Facebook is wrong. Dk. If you think that people who are against the ban don’t love our prophet, u are wrong. I suppose u would say that we ban the Internet then, since it has so many un-islamic things! U can’t control what people think or believe. One can only do that with one’s correct actions. Be nice and lead by example rather than using such bans.Recommend

  • Here is point 7 and 10 in the safety section of the Facebook Terms and Conditions:

    You will not post content that: is hateful, threatening, or pornographic; incites violence; or contains nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence.
    You will not use Facebook to do anything unlawful, misleading, malicious, or discriminatory.

    Yet, they are not going to block/delete the page:

    A Facebook spokesman told FoxNews.com it has no plans to censor any of the pages associated with the campaign or the counter-campaign, though threats will be removed.

    “Threats of violence and direct statements of hate against particular communities violate our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and are removed when reported to us,” reads a company statement to FoxNews.com.

    “Facebook is highly self-regulating, and users can and do report content that they find questionable or offensive. Groups that express an opinion on a state, institution, or set of beliefs — even if that opinion is outrageous or offensive to some — do not by themselves violate our policies. When a group created to express an opinion devolves into threats or hate speech, we will remove the threatening or hateful comments and may even remove the group itself.”

    The statement continued: “With now more than 400 million people around the world with varying opinions and ideals using Facebook as a place to discuss and share things that are important to them, we sometimes find people discussing and posting about controversial topics.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/05/19/facebook-fracas-breaks-everybody-draw-mohammad-day/Recommend

  • But the businesses are fearing and worrying about their business.

    NO ONE is above our Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa-aal-hi-Wasallam).Recommend

  • Engr. Arif (M.E Electrical)
    May 20, 2010 - 1:37AM

    It’s too much appreciated step of PAK Govt., Muslims should bycott this shamed website permenantely, we does all of our works with out using this shammed website.(I challanged)
    Why not FB management stop this activity fron their web server..??
    Our Prophet (PBUH) the messenger of peace, why Western media against Him..??
    If Muslim produces HITLER as a HERO, then what reaction of western media..??Recommend

  • S Khemani
    May 20, 2010 - 1:46AM

    I think facebook should have removed that page , Normally facebook tends to remove any material which is violent or provoking even on one abuse report. I can’t think of any reason why they turned down millions of abuse reports ? this is pure discriminatory attitude towards millions of their muslim user and by blocking their website they will probably learn a lessonRecommend

  • Hamza
    May 20, 2010 - 1:46AM

    Facebook should be banned forever!Recommend

  • Alina
    May 20, 2010 - 1:52AM

    Why ban Facebook? Remove the ban. Doesn’t the LHC have better things to do, Rehman Malik rings a bell. While the crooks rule the country the judiciary has nothing better to do! I am disappointed in our judges. ban the blasphemy law which causes hundreds to loose lives, ban the honour killings, ban extravagant lifestyles of our government leaders! Foolishness, utter foolishness to ban facebook. Recommend

  • Sana Nasir
    May 20, 2010 - 1:58AM

    To pay attention to religious hate groups is to give them what they want, to react negatively is to feed their petty needs, to ban a whole country from accessing their platform is their dream come true. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it, nothing people do or draw will affect your faith, it will just make them look like desperate idiots. What happened to all the tolerance that was preached in Islam?
    LHC had no right to order such a thing and nanny us. They’re not achieving anything by doing so, These hate groups won’t vanish, now that they have seen the affect they have, they will only grow. They should have ignored it, instead they took away one of our rights and tools to free speech and gave them more material to work with. The only right reaction to have had was no reaction towards this group, its what they wanted. We could have used this opportunity to prove how tolerant, compassionate and intelligent we are, instead we came across as religious fundamentalists all over again.Recommend

  • Somaiya Ali
    May 20, 2010 - 2:04AM

    A reasonable Muslim is stuck between those who make a cartoon of the Prophet and those who make a joke out of all he stood for. So, facebook should NOT be banned.Recommend

  • May 20, 2010 - 2:08AM

    Why cant everyone display some self-discipline and not visit the website. Does banning the site in Pakistan have any consequence other than offer free publicity to those inciting hatred? Recommend

  • irshad ali
    May 20, 2010 - 2:10AM

    facebook should respect the the feelings of islam and muslim countries.its not part of freedom of expression to annoy others under the umbrella of freedom…..it should condemn Recommend

  • May 20, 2010 - 2:22AM

    Facebook is a communication medium for many such groups and SMEs that are innocent bystanders in this whole drama. Here’s why I think banning it altogether is a foolish and embarrassing move: http://umairkazi.wordpress.com/2010/05/19/the-facebook-ban-why-ignorance-is-bliss/Recommend

  • Sara Syed
    May 20, 2010 - 2:38AM

    Banning facebok makes no sense at all. If mighty China couldn’t tame Google, u think Pakistan could make facebook budge?! No. Don’t ban facebook. Make another group to reason with the opposing side. Follow the prophet’s example and lead by example. Banning, just adds fuel to the fire. Ban should be lifted. It shouldn’t have been put in the first place. Pakistan is a laughing stock.Recommend

  • Nighat
    May 20, 2010 - 2:47AM

    It is ridiculous that Muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular keep thinking that “banning” things will cure the ills and evils of this world. Why can’t we think like civilized societies and launch our own protests and intellectual offenses rather than putting bans? And yes, I agree with the poster who says the LHC and other judicial highups should be focusing on crooks and criminals. We have more emotions for holding our cricket team accountable and banning Facebook over stupid pages that mean NOTHING to those who love their Prophet but we continue to have our country raped and pillaged by the crooks we have put in place. Shame on us as a nation! We should ban ourselves!!Recommend

  • Ashraf Kalim
    May 20, 2010 - 2:57AM

    Facebook i careless ! my msn isn’t working either !! Time for Desibook ? Ideas everyone ??Recommend

  • romm
    May 20, 2010 - 3:37AM

    Desibook sounds funny. Then in Britian and US, it would be BBCDbook or ABCDbook. we should develop Pakbook.
    I think banning facebook is alright for a change. Since BB's assisination, we have'nt seen any fire, anarchy and disruption in Pak. Moreover, its good political move by our Future Justice Party. I Apprreciate their appreciation about common man's complexes and emotions.Long live CJ. I love you because you are my future PM.
    Recommend

  • MK
    May 20, 2010 - 3:56AM

    Forget about Facebook.. I just got a message from Mobilink saying that my Blackberry services will be suspended because of the court verdict and subsequent instructions by PTA. This is too much. Make our lives hell. Test us. Force the intelligent and motivated to leave the country. Keep crying about stuff that isn’t relevant.

    Fine, I understand the ban, and respect it. But the state is going a bit too far with this one. So now we have.. No electricity, No gas, No water, No jobs, No CNG, No Facebook, No YouTube (yup, just checked!), and No Blackberry. Yaaaay!

    Oh, and 17 odd people just got killed in Karachi.

    Well done Pakistan, well done.Recommend

  • Hasan
    May 20, 2010 - 7:20AM

    Why are Muslims including Pakistanis so absurd when it comes to religion. Grow a thick skin, the Prophet had a very thick skin, what the hell happened to everybody else.

    Muslims “NEED” to believe in the freedom of speech. Because they don’t is one of main the reasons why virtually every Muslim country is conservative, fundo, and does not succeed in today’s world. The model for a progressive Muslim country is Turkey, parts of Lebanon, Malaysia, Indonesia. What is wrong with the rest of the Muslim world.Recommend

  • Sameena Rehman
    May 20, 2010 - 7:27AM

    Love of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) is prior to anything after Allah in Islam, so being a Muslim, I totally support the ban on Facebook.Recommend

  • aqsa
    May 20, 2010 - 8:02AM

    ya they mustnot hv banned the facebook but show calmness,they will do this again at someother website..then what will we do…this is worthless to bann that site..Recommend

  • May 20, 2010 - 9:40AM

    I think youtube has also been banned. I can’t open it on my computer while it opens normally on my friends’ computers abroad. :(Recommend

  • Maryam
    May 20, 2010 - 9:52AM

    it is a very good decision to ban facebook, i believe. and i think our governemnt should contact the owners of this social networking website and tell them to remove the pages and threat them otherwise this ban will turn into a lifetime ban.

    no ones above the Prophet (S.A.W).

    if facebook doesnt remove those pages the government should try and call a meeting of islamic world to ban facebook and crash their bussiness.Recommend

  • Kanwar Nabeel
    May 20, 2010 - 10:01AM

    some one go and ask that Judge ….does he know wht facebook is all abt…..its so wrong decision…..the page was already blocked by PTA then wht was the need of baning it and that too till 31st …..this is so wrong…..i think we should do sumthing abt this decision..Recommend

  • Usman Malik
    May 20, 2010 - 10:15AM

    FACEBOOK should be banned. Now its not more social website it has becomes the website to offense Muslim believes. As they r already violated their terms and conditions. After doing so who can believe them? And all the persons above criticizing just bcoz their fun on facebook has come to an end. It’s awful story of the persons criticized ABOVE.

    FACEBOOK SHOULD BE BANNED FOREVERRecommend

  • fareed
    May 20, 2010 - 10:20AM

    I personally think banning facebook wont help us alot. Consider a problem that the world’s most used websites like yahoo, msn, google etc post these things like this. Well the initial reaction of Pakistani people will be “ban yahoo” “ban msn” “ban google”. So some people need to just calm down and think about it. Will it be a good idea to ban all these services. There is a way to fight back and that is to give them a taste of their own medicine. Islam is the only religion of peace we are going to prove it. We need to fight back intellectualy and not with guns bombs or by killing our OWN SOCIAL NETWORK. I love our Prophet and there ways to show the world that we love him.Recommend

  • Salim
    May 20, 2010 - 11:01AM

    Does anyone here realize the root cause of all of this? We’ve been too busy criticizing the west for disrespecting Islam and the prophet and where that stands correct we need to point our fingers a little closer to home as well. Terrorism and extremist views have ruined everything Islam stands for. It has tainted the religion with violence, illiteracy and the blood of its own people. How can we expect others to have any respect for us when we don’t respect ourselves? We’ve gone around screaming infidels and chopping of heads, blowing innocent women and children to shreds and when the other side turns on us we scream foul. There is a deep rooted intolerance within Muslims that we need to establish anything through violence and this is where we adhere to the worlds discrimination against Muslims. I for one don’t get this draw Muhammad (PBUH) day. I believe if you ask 99.99% of the people participating in this event about Islam itself they wouldn’t have a clue so how can we expect anyone to have a clear sense of what the Prophet may have looked like. We should if anything else be laughing at their childish behavior. Our love and understanding of our faith should be strong enough to do this. Just by drawing their depiction it doesn’t hold true. I think the way we are handling this is all wrong. We are allowing them to get under our skin. To hurt us where it hurts the most, however, I think the greatest way to bring this fight to them is to remain indifferent to their childish behavior and to laugh at the world and show them that our faith is strong enough to not be affected by such acts.Recommend

  • SZ
    May 20, 2010 - 11:05AM

    Rather than addressing more serious issues like corruption, illiteracy, false degrees, unemployment, load shedding, LHC is wasting its time on petty issues like fb ban; where most of the lawyers/judges would be having no idea what fb actually is. This shows that how ignorant we are as a nation. I just wish such strong reactions would also be made against corruption and other serious issues. Recommend

  • Irfan Saleem
    May 20, 2010 - 12:01PM

    @All, who think that the ban should be lifted should feel shamefull. What do you mean by more serious issues? Do you think that there is anything in the World more seious and important than Allah and Rasul? What if someone kills you brother or father. what if someone Rapes you sister or mother. What will you do? Will you think that this is a small thing happened to you and you should just protest from load shedding during drama hours or being unemployed. huhh… Being muslims, it is our emaan that we can sacrify our parents and everythin we love for our Prophet. how could we think of allowing someone to humilate our beloved Prophet? How can we think of business, money. I dont want such business. Anyone who is supporting such act is equally responsible for that act. FB, by not blocking this page is allowing those stupids to do this shmaeful act. FB is equally responsible and should stop this. We dont want any such fun, any business, any freedom, where my beloved Prophet’s respect is compromised. Its totally unacceptable and unimmaginable.
    Kee Muhammad Say Wafa tu nay to hum teray hein
    Yeh jahaan cheez hy kia loho qalam teray heinRecommend

  • Nabeel Amin
    May 20, 2010 - 12:03PM

    I fully support the decision by our government to ban Facebook.

    Despite thousands of requests, they did not pull the page down!

    Who is the extremist here?Recommend

  • AA
    May 20, 2010 - 12:10PM

    Facebook should be banned forever. It has corrupted our lives and confined us to live a virtual life instead of a real one.Recommend

  • Amber
    May 20, 2010 - 12:17PM

    Umm…do you seriously think this ban is all we can worry about right now folks, for in case you have noticed, this is something out of our hands now, Facebook HAS been banned till 31st, full stop!

    Shouldn’t we worry about how to get any news about the event that initiated whole thread of this reaction, eh? I mean, does anyone here knows if Facebook has done anything against that page after all or that millions of reports against that page & this act of LHC have all run to waste?!

    Does anyone here knows if the Contest is still going on or not…has the reaction made the intended difference or not??! Recommend

  • Hamza
    May 20, 2010 - 12:28PM

    bans will be lifted in june

    dont worry

    pak govt trying to permanently remove the contents

    they block the facebook draw muhammad day page earlier
    but next day facebook was block
    today youtube and wikipedia are blocked ???? why didnt just block a certain page / video / content ?? baloch websites are already blocked Recommend

  • DFN
    May 20, 2010 - 12:30PM

    To all those who are against the ban:

    What if whole world starts making such images your father and mother and display them on thousands of pages? Will you even then support such activity? yes?

    No doubt the Holy Prophet is above every thing of this world. The is the first requirement of becoming a Muslim. All those who are ignorant must note.Recommend

  • Arsalan
    May 20, 2010 - 2:11PM

    what can be even more worse that you guys are just concerned about your business, contacts and social life and compromising with the integrity of your religion. Shame on you guys! a big shame on you!
    I fully support decission by Govt of Pakistan. Fb should be banned forever.
    and oMy business lovers, sure get yourself on twitter and start rolling.Recommend

  • Syed Khurram Anwar
    May 20, 2010 - 4:51PM

    Most of the people here are trying to be SO CALLED broad minded with a vast vision advising muslims to be more rational and to understand the freedom of speech. I want to ask you people why don’t you ask facebook why didn’t they delete this page when they delete the holocaust page within a few hours and deleted the “Draw Jews” page within 30 minutes and the creator’s id was disabled as well. And why my id was blocked within an hour when i called Musharraf just a “fraud”? you people need to be more educated I guess.Recommend

  • Asad
    May 20, 2010 - 5:01PM

    Dear Friends,

    Few of you have supported the ban and the others are against it. Those who say that it should not have been banned and suggest that just not visit these pages, I have a question for them. What, if anyone tags any of those blasphameous material to you? Simply, it would appear on your page and the pages of your friends. Its very easy to let it going but for those who don’t care. Does anyone knows why are they doing it again and again through different mediums? They just consider us the people who are unable to protect their rights, rasise voice for it and keep going with anything bad that happens to them.
    Dear friends, I am not asking anyone to just go and hit them but to support the acts that are being done on National level have to be supported. Because, we have been continuously protesting on facebook before this ban, but nothing happened, but now they have to listen to us and give due respect to our beleifs.

    May Allah help us in our efforts and give us strength to live with dignity.Recommend

  • Fahad Asmat
    May 20, 2010 - 5:37PM

    Facebook should be banned forever. Muslims should start their own Social Networking website..
    very nice decision by LAHORE HIGH COURT.Recommend

  • Muhammad Yousif Solangi
    May 20, 2010 - 5:55PM

    Facebook Management should stop such kind of activities and delete the page to whom we are talking about…I am surprised why facebook management is not taking serious steps…millions of muslim users have profile on this site…facebook management should take it seriously.Recommend

  • May 20, 2010 - 6:29PM

    hello i am a muslim and i am so surprised that muslims are saying that facebooks ban should be lifted facebook has beeen disgracing our religion and if someone wants 2 use facebook he better change religion and then use facebook i think that there shld be permanent ban on facebookRecommend

  • Ayesha
    May 20, 2010 - 7:06PM

    FB must be banned forever!! I think it is a very wise desicion of our government to ban it and it would be the best to ban it forever! Besides Islamic teachings, there are few things where there is no compromise, and to dishonor(naubillah) Mohammad SAW is just of no question! Please all those who think that FB should be banned, please Wake Up all of you and open your eyes! One day you shall be asked for this so better to be afraid and care for the next world, not this material world!!! fb MUST BE BANNED FOREVER!!!Recommend

  • Shabah
    May 20, 2010 - 7:18PM

    The fact that we are even having this discussion shows just how much we have fallen. We don’t love the Prophet. We love Farmville and Mafia wars.

    Good job Nabeel showing us the true face of the “Facebook”.

    Ban the damn Facebook permanently.Recommend

  • billy
    May 20, 2010 - 7:32PM

    i dont understand why people are using the events as a competition between the Prophet (PBUH) and facebook! i am a Muslim and i love the Prophet (PBUH) but if i claim that i feel the facebook ban to be wrong, that does NOT mean i do not respect my religion! instead of blocking http://www.facebook.com, the pta could just as easily blocked the url for the group/event in question! and why block youtube? and wikipedia? and flickr? whats next… google? or how about the internet on the whole!? if you look for it, you will find a LOT of horrible things on the internet, but the answer isnt to just ‘block’ it! and sure, someone mentioned that they might get the links to the group pasted on their facebook walls.. big deal! just delete it! we follow a religion of tolerance yet we show none ourselves.
    also.. its easy to say “oh u ppl care more abt ur business than religion” but i wonder how you would react if, God forbid, something were to happen which might potentially Ruin Your business or means of income!Recommend

  • Sarah
    May 20, 2010 - 8:09PM

    Guys banning facbook for a specific event makes sense. But banning something permanently sounds crazy. Why are pakistani’s muslim users of facbook be punished because of some stupid girl who started all this crap. We are already giving facebook a major loss but not using its services for a few days.

    One more thing some body mentioned that when govt already blocked the group page then no need to ban FB, well i guess they blocked FB because FB was not doing something to remove that group. Anyways bann should ne lifted and we should face the world. By keeing us away from trhe scene they gave an open ground to those criminals to play around against islam. Its a prespective of facing things, rather than closing ur eyes like pigeon and then say “oh yes we did a good thing cause we closed our eyes and did not see the reality”Recommend

  • sadaf
    May 20, 2010 - 8:34PM

    yeah being a professional photographer, i use flickr..I run my business page on facebook and let people know about the events and work… I even love my religion, but blocking FB or any other website wont create any respect in the hearts of those who disrespected islam..Why washingtonpost is closed? I am unable to access it… There r so many websites that r closed down.. That effects our work badly……..Recommend

  • Khurram Baig
    May 20, 2010 - 9:39PM

    Just one point, to all those that say “Pakistan is the only country to have placed restrictions on internet access……

    Please do express your opinion, but please also get your facts straight. There are many countries in the Middle-East with varying degrees of restriction on web-access ranging from the unnecessary to the utterly useless to completely stupid. And how is that the large number of activists for internet freedoms have forgotten China and Google? So before we go on about rubbing our own faces in the dirt, let us just cast a look around us and we might not get our foot in our mouth.

    Just wanted to clear that little bit up.Recommend

  • sahar saqlain
    May 20, 2010 - 9:55PM

    The reason for ban is totally logical & i totally support this so does a lot of people who had already joined together to ban f.b for May 20, 2010.Recommend

  • haris
    May 20, 2010 - 11:17PM

    now the time come when muslims have to make their own facebook*SOMEONE HAVE TO DO THIS * Recommend

  • Abbas Rizvi
    May 20, 2010 - 11:57PM

    When ostriches are scared they thrust their heads into sand; we block the access to websites so only we ourselves cannot see them. Such geniuses are we!Recommend

  • Sarah
    May 21, 2010 - 12:15AM

    My reply to those who say FACEBOOK should be banned forever:
    Will that stop the morons from making cartoon’s??? Its only keeping pakistani’s muslims away from expressing their anger on ONE o ONE basis to that group. There is a TIT for TAT solution to such problems. Banning shows “TURNING A BLIND EYE TO THE ISSUE” or “WE ARE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO FACE IT AND RETALIATE RIGHT ON THEIR FACE”
    To those who believe FACEBOOK BANN should be lifted:
    Yes it should be lifted because but I believe keeping a ban for one week will atleast teach FB a good lesson of not removing the offensive group on so many abuse reports. However “BANNING IT FOREVER” is a crazy thought. If u will create your own facebook’s or your own networks you will neither be able to see what rest of the world is doing against or for Islam, plus will not be able to express your views or anger to the people exactly involved.
    Its easy to speak in anger on your local websites, but the real point comes when you make your point heard to the actual platform. If you want to strike back the morons, FACE THEM GUYS. Do the same thing they did to you. TURNING A BLIND EYE will not help you but will make you look like cowards who ran away or hide themselves from this nonsense.

    I KNOW MOST OF THE PEOPLE HERE MIGHT STICK TO THEIR EXTREAM VIEWS. BUT LOVE OF OUR PROPHET (P.B.U.H) DOES NOT MEAN WE CLOSE OUR EYES TO THE WORLD. ITS NOT JUST THE MATTER OF ONE WEBSITE “FACEBOOK” ITS A MATTER OF FACING OR RUNNING AWAY FROM THINGS HAPPENING IN THE WORLD. TODAY THEY BANN FB, TOMORROW WILL BANN ENITRE INTERNET. ITS CRAZY. ARENT WE MUSLIMS TALENTED ENOUGH TO FACE THE STUFF THAT IS GOING ON AGAINST ISLAM IN THIS WORLD?? AND FIND THE EXACT WAYS TO STRIKE THEM BACK. IF THEY MADE OFFENSIVE GROUPS AGAINST ISLAM. YOU TOO MAKE OFFENSIVE GROUPS FOR THEM. ITS CALLED “GIVE THEM THE TASTE OF THEIR OWN POISON”
    BANNING SIMPLY SHOWS WE ARE COWARDS AND WE ONLY HAVE ONE WAY OUT OF TURNING A BLIND EYE. DONT YOU KNOW FACEBOOK IS A BIGGEST SOCIAL NETWORK. IF WE KEEP MUSLIMS AWAY FROM IT, WE WILL GIVE THE IDIOTS A SAFE AND OPEN PLAY GROUND TO PLAY AGAINST ISLAM. WE SHOULD NOT STOP MUSLIMS FROM ACCESSING SUCH WEBSITES AND EXPRESSING THEIR ANGER AND POINT OF VIEWS TOO.

    All i want to say is that its time to think WISE, instead of just acting emotional. Altough we all are emotionally HURT, but better tackle with some sane attitude then just behaving abrupt and emotional.Recommend

  • Dee Jay
    May 21, 2010 - 2:09AM

    Controversy facts:

    1. Facebook has 400 million users. Only 2 million are from Pakistan. That is 0.5% of the total Facebook audience.

    2. The offending Facebook page that the Pakistan government banned had about 30,000 members 3 days before May 20.

    3. Following the complete ban of Facebook in Pakistan, the offending page has 80,000 members and growing as of Thursday evening.Recommend

  • ibrahim
    May 21, 2010 - 7:38PM

    it dusnt mater wat u say the gvrments gona stay da sameRecommend

  • Shalim Rehman
    May 21, 2010 - 9:36PM

    The thing is that we must accept that we are the population of humans that occupy more than 53 Islamic countries, we are not shameless,
    we dont crack jokes over anybody’s believes
    we dont make fun of POPE Benedict or any one else,
    we respect every Prophet,
    we respect every human being who respect us,
    we do not disgrace anyone,

    and finally,

    we will not let any one to do any thing that we dont do to them….

    Facebook is nothing we can bann whole world if they didnt quit to disgrace our beloved ones.

    Facebook must b banned permanently, becaus it is a social network but it is working as a hate network.Recommend

  • ARF
    May 21, 2010 - 10:49PM

    I just wanted to post a short note – yes what has happened on FB is not right but banning the site doesn’t solve the problem – it just makes the doers of such acts get sadistic pleasure in irritating and annoying so many Muslims. Islam is a wonderful religion and teaches tolerance amongst other great virtues – we should have started a group against the original group which would have been better & a more civilised approach. And its all a matter of setting your own priorities – if you have the strength to oppose facebook and laud its banning then let it be unblocked & stay away from it. How many of you who use facebook regulalry would be able to stay away if you had to refrain yourself – please ask yourself this honestly before claiming you could – Islam also teaches you not to lie.Recommend

  • Maleeha Athar Zubairi
    May 22, 2010 - 12:01AM

    With all due respect to the comments above, I really feel that this is a very irresponsible piece of journalism. What makes me wonder is that whether you even thought once before you wrote down all the drawbacks of the website being banned in Pakistan. I am sure people who do not use Facebook, not only in Pakistan but worldover, co-ordinate meetings, run businesses and are in touch with each other all throughout the day, now see, I wonder how that is possible without using Facebook!?!??! I am as much a user of Facebook as any one of us here, but hey, I can live without it. Maybe because I have a life and I can make use of my time even without Facebook.
    And to those who are worried about our rights being taken away from us, it is advised that we look at more serious issues and raise our voices on those. Facebook is just a website… how about we raise our voice on other, more serious issues that we are all aware of and fall victim to every once in a while, or more often!
    And, with all due respect, I really think that “Twentyeight year-old Khadija, whose boyfriend lives abroad had this to say: “As it is I don’t have a love life. With Facebook gone, I have nothing to occupy my time anymore!” needs to go get a life! I mean, how is it the government’s issue that she doesn’t have a love life and how sad can one be that FB is the only thing in her life which could occupy her time?
    This is the first time an article in The Express Tribune has disappointed me so much. Recommend

  • May 22, 2010 - 1:33AM

    Ok so first Is freedom of speech is more important then peaceful coexistence of different civilization?

    It is really unethical for the Western / European Countries to allow and promote such activities which defame Islam and abuse the feelings of billions of people living in the Muslim world.

    Promoting such blasphemous activities against the Holy Prophet (PBUH) of Islam is a serious crime. The freedom of speech does not gives the right to hurt the feelings of a greater part of the world community i.e the Muslims. So western world or having some stupid articles hurt you in any way and you think pakistan has lost its credibility in western world then who cares ? Facebook wasn’t a GOD to us !!!

    And if its about some people feeling bored without facebook and they thought lets say something about government on other internet forum. To be very honest I felt so ashamed. After the officials of FACEbook has declared that they did not find the blasphemous page violating any rules then why the hell we are so much in pain that O my God.. what will bill gates and obama think that we banned facebook. #$%# #$%# ban… They have hurt us ,the Muslim world has the right to ban FACEBOOK as it have caused serious pain and hurt in the hearts of all Muslims and I hope you felt the same.Recommend

  • sidra batool
    May 23, 2010 - 1:17AM

    facebook is very large prblmm in our country.i appriciated that govrnment taken this dicion.i am really happy for that. Recommend

  • sidra batool
    May 23, 2010 - 1:21AM

    pleas ban on facebook permanently.Recommend

  • Ali Raza
    May 23, 2010 - 5:09AM

    I believe personally that we being muslims and pakistanis at the same time are facing a lot of discrimination in this overly globalized world ! But the thing is that we should understand that with the current situation we are not going to reach any milestone by imposing a ban on certain things ! instead everybody should try to reason with opposite side and convince or deliver them their point of view that their feelings have been hurt by this condemnable act and that we as muslims feel very hurt by such acts of religious racism ! Islam and Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) preached us patience and not only gave us the courage but the wisdom to face and reason with the hurdles we will face in our life ! We were not preached to run away from things ! so i believe that the ban is unjustifiable and instead of banning Facebook, we ppl should convince the world with our point of view and tell them that what a beautiful personality our prophet was… and i am sure everyone out there in the west is not ignorant (some will disrespect it) and will listen to our argument and understand its importance to the muslims worldwide! So we should not run from things because once you run, you keep running and such things will keep following you ! so why not deal and reason with it once and for all in a patient manner so that ppl understand our point of view, as we also have the right to freedom of speech :)Recommend

  • Annie
    May 24, 2010 - 1:22PM

    Its a high time and we Pakistanis should start realizing now that imposing a ban permanently on social networking and other major websites would only going to make a matter worse.

    Just because of some sick minded individual they shouldn’t have blocked the whole medium. this world is filled with good and evil it’s upto us to choose the right path. frankly Facebook has lot to offer because of FB Muslims and Non-Muslims were interacting with each other and lot of misconceptions about Pakistanis and Muslims being ill-literate, extremists and terrorists were being cleared. We forgot about those countless groups, forums and videos which were promoting the good image and proper message of Islam on Facebook and YouTube

    And not to forget because of YouTube we came across some wonderful eye openers such as ‘The Arrivals’. and I wonder why are we even believing that they are drawing our Beloved Prophet(P.B.U.H) we should be courageous even to say on their faces that this stupid drawing of yours can never be our Holy Prophet(P.B.U.H) even believing that they are drawing Him is a sin, by putting a ban these websites we have closed ourselves behind walls where no one can hear our protest.Recommend

  • Umer
    May 24, 2010 - 8:10PM

    If we ban fb foreverand join twitter, orkut etc, it will not do us any great harm. On the other hand continuing using fb will encourage people to hold events similar to that of 20th May again and again.Recommend

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