Pakistanis divided over internet restrictions

Could this happen in America? You betcha

Pakistanis woke up on Thursday to find access to popular websites Facebook and YouTube blocked after a government crackdown on websites seen to be hosting un-Islamic content. The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool reports on the reaction from Peshawar.

“This site is restricted” is the plain message on a white background that most Pakistanis have been getting when they try to access the Facebook website.

It follows a High Court ruling ordering all internet service providers in the country to block the popular networking site until further notice.

What triggered the action was a Facebook group inviting people to draw, and post, cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

‘Disrespectful’

“I am grateful to the High Court judges for this verdict,” says Fida Gul, smiling. He is from the Islamic Lawyers Movement, who campaigned to get Facebook banned.

At his office in downtown Peshawar, Mr Gul says the petition was filed on behalf of all Muslims and was a necessary step.

“We needed to provide a message to non-Muslims not to disrespect our prophet.”

BBC News

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