Religion in Society

Pakistan Ends Ban of Facebook

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Pakistanis can once again update their status and keep track of their friends on Facebook, after the nation lifted its ban on the social networking site.

A judge blocked access to Facebook earlier this month, ruling its "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" was offensive to the mostly-Muslim nation.

But Facebook is now back, after it reportedly apologized and removed the offending content.

"In response to our protest, Facebook has tendered their apology and informed us that all the sacrilegious material has been removed from the URL," said Najibullah Malik, secretary of Pakistan's information technology ministry.

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Malik said Facebook assured the Pakistani government that "nothing of this sort will happen in the future."

"Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" was in response to death threats against the producers of "South Park" for an episode that contained Muhammad. Comedy Central censored the episode, and the Facebook page encouraged people to exercise their free speech rights.  

The Facebook controversy sparked a handful of protests across Pakistan, many by student members of radical Islamic groups. Some of the protesters carried signs advocating holy war against the web site for allowing the page.