Draw Muhammad Day: Pakistan Fights Back
The event that took place on Facebook on 20th May, 2009, was an eye-opener. The objective wasn’t simply to instigate over a billion Muslims worldwide – it was just to remind them that Muhammad and Islam are not above criticism. No religion is. Banning such criticism only gives the impression that there is, in fact, something about Muhammad that is worth pointing fingers at.
Facebook was banned by Pakistan in response to the event (along with YouTube and Wikipedia, but now the ban has been lifted). Why? Because it’s un-Islamic. Of course, the Pakistani government is least concerned about the Pakistani non-Muslims who weren’t offended by the pictures and therefore have no issues with Facebook. Why should they have to suffer? Not that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has been very particular about the rights of minorities in the past. Its actions were completely predictable.
Also, the government did not stop to consider that by banning the website, it was only harming its own people: Pakistani Muslims who use Facebook as a platform for cyber-tableegh, using it for the propagation of Islamic teachings; and all those Pakistanis who use Facebook for business reasons.
Meanwhile, most of the porn sites remained perfectly accessible, as they’ve always been. No, nothing un-Islamic about that. And not just porn. All other questionable websites (on terrorism, hacking techniques etc) continue to run unregulated.
For years, Muslims have been operating pages on Facebook dedicated to making fun of Jews, Hindus and virtually every other religion on the planet. No problems there. But heaven forbid if somebody makes a joke about Muhammad!
Here’s a text message that was being circulated around Pakistan on the 19th of May:
“FWD: Guys need volunteerx.Please 4ward it. Taha of DOW MEDICAL UNIVERSITY made a software to stop the website “draw Muhammad day”.Jxt need ppl to run the software wid me 4 mass atck tonyt nd brng them to their kneex contct” Taha@tahasoft.net Or on Facebook.com/taharox. Keep FWDING dnt stop. V LOVe U PROPHET!“
Perhaps one day Muslims might begin to understand the meaning of freedom of speech, though that just seems like wishful thinking at this point.