“Everybody draw Mohammed Day!” Facebook Page Censored in India
By on May 26th, 2010

After being kicked out of Pakistan, Facebook is not taking any chances. It has blocked the controversial “Everybody draw Mohammed Day!” page in India. “Out of respect for the local regulations, standards and customs, we have decided to restrict access to the ‘Everyone Draw Mohammed!’ page from India, after being contacted by authorities and reviewing the matter closely,” a spokeswoman for Facebook e-mailed to PCWorld.

Southpark-201-Muhammad-Censored

It all started when Comedy Central censored the image of the prophet Muhammad in an episode of SouthPark, in response to threats from radical Islamists. Reacting to Comedy Central’s censorship, Jon Wellington created the Facebook page “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” and invited others to exercise their first amendment rights. Soon the initiative went viral and received massive response from all corners of the world. Unfortunately, it also provided a platform to Muslim-bashers to post offensive caricatures of the prophet.

Pakistan has already banned thousands of websites including Facebook and YouTube. In fact, a poll suggests that 70% of Pakistanis want Facebook to be banned permanently. India is unlikely to follow in Pakistan’s footsteps, however the growing cyber-censorship in India is bound to worry civil rights activists. Any freedom guaranteed by the constitution is subject to reasonable restrictions. The freedom of expression doesn’t provide the freedom to abuse and hurt the religious beliefs of another. There is always a thin line between use and abuse. Was this such an exceptional case? Was the Indian government justified in censoring Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”? Don’t forget to let us know what you think.

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Author: Pallab De Google Profile for Pallab De
Pallab De is a blogger from India who has a soft spot for anything techie. He loves trying out new software and spends most of his day breaking and fixing his PC. Pallab loves participating in the social web; he has been active in technology forums since he was a teenager and is an active user of both twitter (@indyan) and facebook .

Pallab De has written and can be contacted at pallab@techie-buzz.com.
  • Hayden

    Freedom of speech. Its an important safeguard of freedom in general. We have the right to critise and satire anyone or anything we want. You too have that right to critise anything or anyone you want.

    You can't have it both ways. Imagine this; a protester holds up a sign saying "ban freedom of speech". A police officer says "ok", rips the sign out of the guys hands and arrests him for speaking his mind. The protester gets exactly what he wants.

    But the protester doesn't actually want this, he wants freedom of speech for himself, but not to others. I'm sorry, but we have equal rights in civilised countries, and that means if one person can voice their opinion, then everybody can. You don't even have to listen if you don't want to, and it is considered rude to if you "force your ideas" on people. You don't get arrested, just socially shunned.

    There are of course more acceptable ways to voice your opinion. Such as a social networking site in which everyone is free to look or not look at pictures they may or may not find offensive.

  • http://mrchina.in sandeep

    I am not a muslim and I do NOT support that page.

    Reason: No matter what the intention of the page-creator was…it ended up creating very "bad and disgusting" images of Mohammad. Freedom of speech..and freedom of expression does not mean that people have the right to hurt others' feelings.

    I guess..it people had responded in good conscious..then they might have drawn good pictures (with some humor ofcourse). But drawing obscene pictures for a sacred leader (prophet/God) and then saying that its the freedom of speech/expression"….well…go n f*** yourself. Its plain disgusting.

  • http://bestofwap.googlepages.com Feby J. Jacob

    I agree that there should be freedom of expression. This freedom should be limited to express one's ideas in one's own religion. If the expression of your ideas will hurt the religious sentiments of other people one should be responsible enough not to express such ideas. Everybody should respect other people's religious sentiments. A person's freedom of expression should not be used to hurt fellow being's religious beliefs. Whereever there is a right, there is also a duty attached to it. The advocates of right forget that they have a duty too attached to the right.

  • john

    You miss the whole point. The right to criticize religion is just as important as the right to practice it. If someone does not like a particular facebook page they can simply not view it! They have that right. The right they do not have is to use the coercive power of the State to prevent SOMEONE ELSE from doing so.

    I can see your point in a lot of ways and that of others who criticize the cartoonists. What I flatly reject is the common argument that they are "RACISTS" or are acting as instruments of "western colonialism" etc. etc…they are not; they are acting on principle, a very important and UNIVERSAL one.

    Those most oppressed by Islamofascism are populations of Muslim countries themselves. If you think that is just a bunch of "Islamophobia" look at what happend to the people in Tehran after that falsified election. Beaten, murdered and sentenced to death in the name of Islam.

    Here click this link. It is an inteview with Salman Rushdie…a great thinker who is neiter a racist nor a "sell-out to the West" but rather someone who understands what freedom is and how precious it is for EVERYONE on this earth

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E9qeWtp3rM&fe

    • john abegail

      your use of the world islamofascism and citing from of all people salman rushdie simply points out one thing, that you even don't profess the "universal" principle you gloated about — to have an open mind. you have used the world islamofascism coined by a right-wing zionist movement allied with televangelist christian fundamentalism, who are politically allied with secularists such as salman rushdie when it comes to vilifying a certain political ideology that is antithetical to everything they hold sacred– neoliberal capitalism and war on terror.

      if you want to find about what's wrong with the universal principles of tolerance and freedom of expression, look back upon a 100 years and tell me which culture, race or religion or civilization is responsible for the most havoc in terms of human lives, liberty and freedom? or are you going to tell me some ayatollah had for some reason been resonsible for the millions of deaths and starvation of WWI, WWII and Hiroshima ?

 
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