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: 96

Replies to This Discussion

I am well aware of the hypocrisy that runs rampant in my country. I have to put up with it on a daily basis. Me and other likeminded individuals will continue to the fight against such forces of obscurantism as long as we are here. Your support and appreciation means lot. Thank you.



It was with great sympathy that I read your post.

I am a political exile myself, and know firsthand the power of government to silence those whose views it does not like through various means, including but hardly limited to Internet censorship.

The answer, as Mohandas Gandhi showed, is through unified, organized, determined non-violent non-cooperation. It requires a great deal of organizing, persistent effort, determination and creativity, but it can be done through demonstration to all the world that your cause is just.

The political situation in your region, favoring religious extremism as it does, is placing not only you but all Pakistanis, and indeed much of the world, in grave danger. It can only be repaired through a change in government policies, which is likely to come about only as the result of organized resistance. Only when the ruling elites discover that the people will no longer blindly follow, and that further repression will only jeopardize their grip on power, will this kind of repression end.

I wish you resolve, empowerment and good luck. You will need them all.
truly appreciate it.




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