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.

Newspaper clip:

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


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.


The petition:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/facebook-banned/signatures



In solidarity


Younas Chowdhry

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theyve blocked access to youtube, wikipedia and flickr as well

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