A call to arms! Atheists around the world must unite against tyranny.

Dear All,


I am writing to you from Pakistan. I wish to bring to your attention the fact that Muslims across the world are launching protests against the right to free speech and
having social networking websites banned in their countries.


The court in Lahore, Pakistan, issued a sentence today, banning Facebook for an indefinite period of time. The URL of the social networking site will be blocked by the
telecommunication authorities. This action was taken in response to
some 20 people protesting against Facebook outside the court.


This entire hue and cry is a response to a facebook page inviting people to submit drawings of Mohammad on the 20th of May to challenge the sheer intolerance of
Muslims when it comes to bringing their religious beliefs under
scrutiny.


The implications of this action can be dire for atheists, free thinkers, non-Muslims and relatively more tolerant Muslims residing in these countries. Such ill-conceived
attempts at trying to appease and pander to the religious
sensitivities of Muslims can be utilized in future to curtail any
semblance of democratic rights that we did enjoy in the past. Today
it is facebook, tomorrow it could be who knows what.


I call for all atheists and free thinkers to rise up in arms against such despotic attempts to curtail the freedom of expression in countries, such as mine. We could use
any and all help that comes our way. Appeal to your media, your
governments to pressurize governments like mine into revoking such
undemocratic orders.



In solidarity


Younas Chowdhry

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I am sorry to hear this, Younas. I'm hoping someone who knows ways around site blocking will see this soon.

I'm not a big fan of Facebook due to their cavalier attitude towards personal privacy, and selling member information, but people ought to be able to access the site if they want.
Younas,

This is, as you point out, a serious issue. I will contact you about some action I think we can take.
I'm hoping one or both of you will post here about how the rest of us can help.
Yes. There are a variety of methods that one can employ to help. Popular protests urging to your governments to condemn such draconian measures and bring their implications to the fore. petitions can be started. a balanced perspective can be given which doesnt invite the animosity of both the sides.

At present i am trying to see how much support i can raise locally if any measures are to be undertaken by us here.
Thank you. I will look forward to it.
I will do what I can to help.
Once again. I will thank you for your support. Please spread this message to as many forums and people as you possibly can. The first step would be to start with raising awareness about this. the following news snippet can accompany the circulation of this message

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/...

Regards

Younas
You can unblock facebook easily. Just use a VPN service, a free one is this. (HotSpot Shield) But there are also paid services (like HideMyAss.com) available.

However, this is truly a serious issue.
Two programs are freely available to get around internet censorship:

One created by the Falun Gong in China, Freegate

Another to protect privacy, UtraSurf
@duncan and Johannes,

I am familiar with the availability of these softwares and VPN to work around the block but the issue is larger than that. It can embolden the religious right(and it already has) into getting whatever they want to be legally sanctioned against whatever they find unacceptable.

regards

Younas

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