The ban should stay — for now

Mina Sohail May 23, 2010

With the government having banned the social networking website Facebook and YouTube, I am glad that for once we have paid more heed to the sentiments of our own people as opposed to those living in Timbuktu. Many argue that the ban will spoil our image further internationally. Frankly, I don’t give a damn. For once, let’s not be concerned with how we are labelled by the West. Let’s instead fret over how people at home are reacting. Let’s try to support and protect their rights and beliefs.

However, I am not saying that an outright ban is the best solution. But we do need to look at the larger picture for now. In our country, there has always been a divide between what the state does and what society wants. We need to bridge that gap. So the government for a change acted according to the wishes of the people.

Facebook recently said that comments and content can be upsetting for someone but that is not a reason to remove the discussion. Agreed. But a caricature contest of our Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is not something that will ‘hurt’ our religious ideology. It will spark a storm and ignite rage among people.

In 2007 Thailand blocked YouTube because the site showed a slide containing manipulated photos of its king. The same year, access to YouTube was blocked in Turkey after clips deemed to be mocking Mustafa Kemal Ataturk appeared on the site.

Banning Facebook will not prevent people from making those caricatures. An indefinite ban cannot be a good longterm solution. We cannot be cut off from the rest of the world. However, for the time being, the ban should stay because it reflects the sentiments of millions in Pakistan who feel outraged.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010.


Yahya Qadir Warraich | 12 years ago | Reply I don’t agree with writer’s point of view that there should be temporary ban on Face book or any other site which are involved in such kind of activities. There must be permanent ban otherwise it will encourage other web sites to get popularity by hurting feelings of Muslims. Furthermore, It is uncompromising act done by face book and you tube and i am really surprised and feel extremely shameful when I saw Muslims compare banning this site with economic losses and other thinks like we shall cut off with rest of the world…... We must protect blasphemy against Muhammad PBUH at any cost, even with the cost of our lives. I pray Allah forgive us and give us courage to do the right things.
Hassan | 12 years ago | Reply It is the time to accept our weaknesses that make other stronger. "We have to use modern gadgets (Facebook) so that we may fight well and defeat our enemy on his own land (Internet)" Keep up the good work :)
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