UnNews:Bangladesh censors Facebook

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30 May 2010

THIS IS THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD! What are you going to do about it?!

DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh became the second country, after Pakistan, to ban the Web site Facebook because a user depicted the prophet Muhammad.

Telecommunication regulator Zia Ahmed said Sunday that he blocked access to the site because it may contain caricatures that may offend Muslims, who may react violently. Muslims regard depictions of the prophet (pbuh), even handsome and well-drawn ones, as blasphemous. Mr. Ahmed called on Facebook to remove the material--namely, any drawing or photo that someone claims is of Muhammad.

Both Asian nations are actively seeking foreign investment, and declaring their willingness to shut a business down on a whim is a sure-fire way to encourage Muslims to do business in the country.

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Facebook blocks Pakistan over 'satirical content'

The controversy began when a Facebook user opened a page named Everybody Draw Muhammad Day as a good-natured attempt to explain the benefits of Islam. Local Facebook user Farzan Hasan said, "The government should not have blocked the entire site. A more measured response would have been to simply declare a fatwah against the user and let us go kill her."

Seeking to mend fences after the lurch toward censorship, Saudi Arabia has asked former President George W. Bush, who told Congress that Islam was "a religion of peace" right after the September 11 attacks, to also declare Islam "a religion of free expression."