YouTube Banned in Pakistan due to Anti-Islam Film

Youtube BannedThe Pakistan government blocked You Tube because of anti-Islamic videos showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad were posted on the site. As a result, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority told the country’s 70 Internet service providers that the video-sharing website should be blocked until further notice.

According to Guardian and wikipedia, the ban was imposed due to Dutch lawmaker and a radical politician Geert Wilders’s, upcoming anti-Koran movie portraying Islam as fascist and prone to inciting violence against women and homosexuals. Wilders has been the topic of controversy since the time he passed anti-Islamic remarks, causing tension across the world. Wilders was quoted as saying in Dutch news agency ANP, that the film will show his view that the Koran is “a horrible and fascist book” that inspires people to commit “awful acts.”

He said, “I hope that it will open people’s eyes to the fact that the Koran should be banned like ‘Mein Kampf’ by Adolf Hitler.” Here’s what Wilders has to say about his controversial film.

Not only in Pakistan, in Eqypt, the government banned the sale of four European newspapers for printing pictures deemed offensive to Islam.

Banning videos cannot stop people from reading about it on the Internet or getting the same video from a different source. It doesn’t seem to be a logical way to go about things, the Internet is a very powerful medium, blocking or banning sites merely results in evoking a sense of curiosity and finding different means of seeing that.

So out of curiosity I thought of finding out what our Pakistani counterparts think of this ban on YouTube, here’s a glimpse -

M Junaid Khan from The Land of Pure opines, “I fully support Government of Pakistan for banning the YouTube. I think it should make sure that other Muslim countries also follow suit and ban the site as well. Such actions will force the sites which don’t show any respect for Muslims to get back to their senses and learn how to exercise their free speech.”

Awais Aftab from A Myth in Creation is against the ban, he writes, “In a stupid and outrageous move, the Pakistani authorities have banned access of its Internet users to YouTube. I find this action very imprudent and paranoid, and i hope this ban turns out to be temporary.”

Shafiq Rehman from Random Acts of Reality thinks, “Blocking websites in Pakistan is not new. Government authorities do this many times in the past, but they could not achieve their goal. YouTube is blocked due to some political situation rather than Cultural.”

In fact one of the blogs has already posted ways of unblocking and accessing YouTube videos in Pakistan. I am glad that majority of bloggers around the world share similar views when it comes to restricting their right to do something, and nothing stops them from blogging their opinion and views.

YouTube Ban in Other Countries

Well, its definitely not the first time YouTube has been blocked in a country. In March 2007, a court in Turkey blocked the site because some video clips insulted the country’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which is considered to be illegal in Turkey.

Last year in April, the Thai government banned the site because of clips seen as offensive to the world’s longest-reigning monarch and Thailand’s revered monarch, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Last year was a fairly bad year for YouTube, it didn’t end there. In Morocco as well You Tube was banned after after users posted videos critical of Morocco’s treatment of the people of Western Sahara, a territory Morocco took control of in 1975.

But in all the above cases, You Tube was subsequently unblocked, after removing the objectionable content. But of course, the Internet emerged as the winner.

What’s your opinion on this matter? You think blocking websites is fair?

Resources:

Pakistan Blocks YouTube

YouTube bans



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