Pakistan blocks Facebook over Mohammad drawings row

19 May 2010

It has emerged that Pakistan has blocked access to Facebook in response to public anger over a competition on the social-networking site asking people to submit drawings of the prophet Mohammad.

The decision to block Facebook was taken by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, which controls internet access. It directed ISPs in the country to block the site after lawyers attained a High Court order.

A Facebook page entitled ‘Everybody Draw Mohammad Day’ containing 200 images angered Muslims in the country who believe depictions of the prophet to be blasphemous.

The site, which had 4,697 fans at the time of writing, contained links to the pages of prominent critics of Islam.

A number of pages have since sprung up on Facebook in opposition to the controversial site, including ‘IGNORE Everybody Draw Mohammad Day’ which already has 2,831 fans and ‘AGAINST Everybody Draw Mohammad Day May 20th 2010’ which had close to 9,000 fans at the time of writing.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years