Pakistan asks Facebook to help fight blasphemy

BBC-Asia

Pakistan says it has asked Facebook to help investigate “blasphemous content” posted on the social network by Pakistanis.

Facebook has agreed to send a team to Pakistan to address reservations about content on the social media site, according to the interior ministry.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive and incendiary issue in Pakistan.

Critics say blasphemy laws, which allow the death penalty in some cases, are often misused to oppress minorities.

Earlier this week Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced his support for a wide-ranging crackdown on blasphemous content on social media.

In a statement on his party’s official Twitter account, he described blasphemy as an “unpardonable offence”.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The perfect tool of repression. Everyone knows that anyone can report them to the religious police by saying: “I heard him or her say this or that”. Anything goes.

  2. Facebook and other service providers should share all information about the people behind this blasphemous content with us

    Here it is, the acid test.

    Social Media – is it really social, is it civil society on-line, or is it the new Global Stasi, KGB, or Gestapo?

  3. Why is there a team being sent there for discussion? What’s to discuss? If Facebook goes along with this scheme to out and deliver the skeptics, atheists, free thinkers, etc. over to the fundamentalists for the murders that will undoubtedly await them, then Facebook should suffer a barrage of negative comments and subsequent boycott.

    If the team is going there to explain that in the West, we have freedom of speech and we are used to ignoring the type of speech that is considered sinful and blasphemous in other parts of the world and that Muslim majority countries need to chill about anti-prophet Mo speech and pictures then…let’s hope the team is bringing one of those swat team brigades with every available big gun and rocket launcher they can get their hands on. Send a few tanks too if there are any available. A couple of sidewinder missiles, five or six…

    Wouldn’t it be a better idea just to Skype the meeting? Twenty-first century ideas delivered by twenty-first century technology!

  4. If Facebook’s top officers cared more about their own company mission statement (“To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”) rather than the billions they are earning, they would have the “spheres” to face any political and/or religious figure and tell them plainly that if they don’t like freedom of speech then Facebook will pull out of their country.

  5. Once a “blasphemer” is identified for the PM or his government, what do they (Facebook officers) think is going to happen next?

    Twitter too should look to whether they are happy with accounts which are all but declaring jihad on unbelievers, for what else does “blasphemy [is an] unpardonable offence” mean?

    The social media site executives would do well to show some leadership and withdraw their services anybody who uses their services to incite hatred and violence, especially governments.

  6. @OP – Pakistan says it has asked Facebook to help investigate “blasphemous content” posted on the social network by Pakistanis.

    Meanwhile on an Islamic channel in Senegal they are investigating the shock to their viewers at some of their religious channel’s teachings!! 🙂

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-39359115

    A religious TV channel in Senegal has blamed an unidentified saboteur for the “satanic trick” that led to a hardcore porn film being shown on air.

    Touba TV’s viewers were shocked when explicit sexual content appeared on their screens between 13:10 and 13:30 local time on Monday.

    The privately run TV station had initially said that a troublesome “network bug” had led to the blunder.

    Touba TV is run by Senegal’s influential Mouride Islamic sect.

    The channel has laid a complaint with the authorities to identify the culprits.

    The pornographic material ran during a popular programme, Tarixu Juma for about 15 minutes.

    “As a religious channel, the management of Touba TV and all our audience members are outraged and unreservedly condemn this criminal act which seems to be sabotage and a satanic trick designed to undermine a channel which is known to stand for Islamic values and teachings,” Touba TV management said in a statement.

    The channel broadcasts religious programmes promoting Islamic values and teachings.

  7. A4d

    a hardcore porn film being shown on air.

    haha. Pretty funny but the Koran does give men full license to take their sexual pleasure as they see fit (with women). But seeing it on TV was too much reality for them I suppose.

    Chapter (2) sūrat l-baqarah (The Cow)

    Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad).

    What was the title of the film? Fatima gets plowed?

  8. It seems that even in Europe, those hypersensitive god-delusions, and theocratic relics, just can’t stand rational debate or criticism!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39830447

    Police in the Republic of Ireland have launched an investigation after a viewer claimed comments made by Stephen Fry on a TV show were blasphemous.

    Officers are understood to be examining whether the British comedian committed a criminal offence under the Defamation Act when he appeared on RTE in 2015.

    Fry had asked why he should “respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world…. full of injustice”.

    He later said he was not “offensive towards any particular religion”.

    According to a report in the Irish Independent newspaper, no publicised cases of blasphemy have been brought before the courts since the law was introduced in 2009 and a source said it was “highly unlikely” that a prosecution against Fry would take place.

    Appearing on The Meaning of Life, hosted by Gay Byrne, in February 2015, Fry had been asked what he might say to God at the gates of heaven.

    Fry said: “How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It’s not our fault? It’s not right. It’s utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?”

    He went on to say that Greek gods “didn’t present themselves as being all seeing, all wise, all beneficent”, adding “the god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish”.

    The Irish Independent reported a member of the public made a complaint to police in Ennis in the same month the programme was broadcast. He was recently contacted by a detective to say they were looking into his complaint.

    The viewer was not said to be offended himself but believed Fry’s comments qualified as blasphemy under the law, which was passed in 2009 and carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 25,000 euros (£22,000).

    Ah! HE was not offended, but his god-delusion WAS – so his “faith-thinking” arrived at a conclusion of “blasphemy”!

    The law prohibits people from publishing or uttering “matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion”.

    The government said at the time it was needed because the republic’s 1937 constitution only gives Christians legal protection of their beliefs.

    Speaking to the BBC in 2015, Fry said he had been “absolutely astonished” by some of the reaction on social media to what he had said on the show.

    He said: “I don’t think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn’t intend, and in fact I know I didn’t say anything offensive towards any particular religion.”

    It seems to me, that Stephen Fry was giving a rational answer to a religiously motivated question – directed at an atheist, – so claiming that an objective evaluation a popular god-image is offensive, is just the usual lame theocracy, hiding behind blasphemy allegations and “mysterious ways”, when they are stuck for credible answers to criticism!

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