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

Views: 99

Replies to This Discussion

It is a most comforting thought that even in the most obscurantist environments, there are still people such as yourself who are not afraid to face the menacing hordes of oppression, and I shall be glad to protest to the condign authorities. Peradventure, could you provide us with the contact data of any such authorities in your whereabouts?
Yes i will certainly look into it and provide you with the appropriate information as soon as i can. Appreciate all the support.

Best regards

The internet already has all the tools you need.

Bring down government servers using DDoS software (something like Low Orbit Ion Cannon should do it).
Use proxy servers to bypass filters.
Join an ISP that refuses to block these websites.

Governments may try, but now we have the internet we cannot and will not have our freedom's taken from us.

Yes this is true and we are certainly using it. I invite you all to sign the following petition and spread the word.

Also, while i am aware of methods to by-pass this block, it nevertheless hinges on a much larger picture and must be seen within that context. The idea that a court can ban a social media website on the protest of some 20 individuals to appease their religious sensitivity goes on to further bolster the religious right.

And it has. Today it is the internet. Maybe tomorrow there are measures, persecutions and witch hunts against those that do not ascribe to the same brand of beliefs as those that are protesting now. That is what is the issue at hand. It must be seen within the same light and condemned.

In solidarity

If all else fails, there's always LOIC
Hi Younas,

I am very impressed with your actions. I have signed the petition and I am passing it on to other like-minded forums.

I replied with this. "Would an omnipotent God be worried about drawings? Of course not. This is clearly a human divisive tactic to silence and oppress people. When Islam asks for tolerance, it should practise it itself."

I hope the world takes note but given that it is turning a blind eye to the killings in Iran, I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks again.

By the way. What do you think of my drawing?

He's missing his blatantly massive penis...

And the wimminz are showing too much flesh. Burn them!
theyve blocked access to youtube, wikipedia and flickr as well
Wikipedia? That's a bit extreme...

Better start charging up the LOIC.
Isn't it amazing how the theocrats are always the ones that want to restrict everything human beings say and think, especially when those thoughts and words don't conform to religious beliefs? Add to that the thinly veiled agenda that many muslim sects and countries have in wanting to forcefully convert the entire human race to Islam and what is happening in your country is really no suprise. If you are still in Pakistan I have to applaud you for your sheer courage and determination as wel;l as your clear-headed reasoning!
It's ridiculous that the religious extremes (regardless of the religious flavor) always demand that all others show respect for their beliefs, but they in turn, show no respect for the belief (or lack thereof) of others. They are world class hypocrites and it's not restricted to Islam.
Fighting them is difficult as governments generally appease them in one way or another.




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