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May 20th, 2010
07:14 PM ET

Musharraf backs Pakistan's decision to shutter Facebook

Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told CNN tonight that he backs Pakistan’s decision to shut down Facebook this week in response to an online group calling on people to draw the Prophet Mohammed. Here’s what Musharraf - who said today that he plans to return to Pakistan to re-enter politics - told Wolf Blitzer:

You cannot have photographs of the Prophet Mohammed - leave aside going for cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. It's most unfortunate. We must understand, these are sensitive issues. And for the sake of independence of media, liberty of speech, we cannot hurt sensitivities of millions of people. We must not do that. I am against that.

Musharraf, by the way, is huge on Facebook, with more than 200,000 friends.

Full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Islam • Politics

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. David. Armstrong

    Muslim are creating their own halal-internet. at least this is what HalalGate is promising to Muslim worldwide. the ability to block every site social network, chat room or any services that conflict with their Islamic beliefs and values. Sound like a promising software to isolate the 1.6 billion Muslim from internet. if you can't see it it won't hurt you. nice slogan.

    August 14, 2010 at 10:37 am |
  2. Anon

    When I was a child, I would frequently blaspheme my own religion, as it were; people didn't care for it, but they let it roll off their backs and asked me to stop, and nobody was really grossly offended by it. There were multiple pictures of the religious deity in question, even in the restroom; obviously my fellow religious members had a good deal of humor in them as well. If certain people can't allow things to roll off their backs when they are as unimportant and meaningless as online humor, then how do they expect to make it through the really difficult things in life. Is that why we, as the innovators in the west and the far east are able to move society forward; because we can let something as simple as petty mockery slide? I just saw a comedy site with a Bra on Buddha; nobody seems to care about that. Draw a stick figure and say it's Mohammed online and you might get shut down; draw a bear costume on a cartoon on a cable network and claim Mohammed is inside and that cartoon may never be seen again. I don't know which is sadder, the outrage over nothing – childish temper tantrums, or the rest of this world's willingness to bend over backwards because of it. I for one think it's time we put freedom back into our press and internet – where it belongs.

    June 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  3. Ali

    The very idea of banning facebook and youtube seems to be absurd. As a matter of fact, the decision makers are unaware of the usefulness of both sites. To express deep concerns and disregard, boycotting is no solution but a peaceful dialogue on the web as well as international forums.
    In short Facebook and Youtube have done a great deal to spread education and knowledge and had undoubtly presented the real face of Islam.

    May 23, 2010 at 9:15 am |
  4. salim

    I HAVE A BETTER SOLUTION

    Let Mohammad and Allah use their powers and kill all those people writing cartoons about them..

    Meanwhile, we pakistanis carry on with our difficult lives normally, instead of protesting or punishing the evil men.. Let the evil men be punished by Allah if not Mohammed..

    You know what, neither Allah nor Mohammed have taken any actions against those evil cartoonists.. On what sense should be stop earning our levlihood and get on to street?

    May 22, 2010 at 9:25 am |
  5. ShaZNaCKz

    SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...SPARBE.COM...

    May 21, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  6. hurp n' durp

    The issue is a sensative issue, which makes is abnormal instead of normal. It's something that if a child here would do it, he would be deemed 'special ed'. Growing up there was a kid in school who would literally go on a raging tantrum if I stuck my elbows out and counted 1-2-3 1-2-3 over and over. He would literally grab his head, scream and start swinging at everything. Yes we was a special ed student. It wasn't that I was making a mock of him and hating him by any means, it persists because it's almost comical that ANYONE would ever make a fuss over something as irrelevant as the actions taken.

    One country has different sensativity. One thing Muslims did to 'get back at us' is sometimes post a picture of Jesus. Because to them, that would 'supposedly offend us just as much'. To us, you are very abnormal for accusing the stupid junk we do 'offensive and hated'. Being offended is natural, but if I get ULTRA OFFENDED at the letter S being used, since S is the symbol of money and money is the symbol of greed and greed is against my imaginary storybook character, and every time you typed S I'd flip my lid and go kill people and have huge ralleys with signs saying 'SLAY ALL THE INFIDELS WHO USE S' then others are going to see you as a bunch of crazies and be in such disbelief that it's true that they'll keep typing S just to see you get more enraged!

    tl;dr religion is for children..

    May 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  7. Faheem Muhammad

    I think reaction of Muslims around the world in general and Pakistani Muslims in particular is quite normal. Everyone in this world know that the issue is sensitive. What on earth will western world achieve by drawing such carricatures?? I really dont find any reason to that. This is not freedom of expression. This is extremism on part of few people, an act of instigation and I think facebook is party to it. We strongly condemn such acts. These acts are absolutely intentional aiming at spreaading hatered among various religions.

    May 21, 2010 at 11:03 am |
  8. sehrish

    its a good step of court to ban the facebook . my question is that just the muslims don't have any freedom of spech??? if muslims protest against such activites which hurts them and their religion they are called terorist. now when they took a silent step to ban such sites. what would you like to call them now???? we are the human beings as the others are, we have the equal rights to realize the outer world that now you are crossing the limits in the name of liberty to spech. plz consider it as a serious issue. first we are THE MUSLIMS then any thing else

    May 21, 2010 at 9:35 am |
    • Protip

      being 'THE MUSLIMS' is the problem in the first place.

      May 21, 2010 at 9:51 am |
  9. Kashif Azeem

    Wrong Interpretation of "Freedom of expressions" , There must be some ethics and norms in such freedom of expressions. In society gathering of thousands of naked people also called freedom of expression, what you expect from them?

    May 21, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  10. tariq hamadi

    What about millions of other contents which are created by Muslims against others? Do you think that they are right? Others are still peaceful. So others are also free to do anything they like. Do not say Muslims feeling are hurt. Accept it. If you want to ban face book etc. ban everything of infidels. There will be nothing left with Islam then. All development in this world is done by non Muslims. Stop Millions of Muslims who are giving visa applications to the countries of no Islam.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:16 am |
    • salahudin tariq

      very surprize to know that you are a person with great name TARIQ but mently to much weak.for your information the base of every development is made by Muslim,explore your knowledge! and main point is that respect of every prophet is compulsory for every person wheather he is Muslim or not.read back history when Muslim rule the world,then tell me what is the difference between tht leadership and today your leadership!only development is not acheivement.why death rate is increasing in europe?why their is not any safety for women in europe?why maximum addicted persons are in non-muslim country?and so on!we get visa for europe only for study or for income as you came in spain and islamic countries in that period.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:12 am |
  11. Norm

    Facebook people are retarded. Yeah yeah freedom of speech and all that but why provoke people just for the fun of it. If some radical blows something up because of this you can bet it will be facebook where all the hate groups condemning the action will pop up. Let the sleeping tiger sleep.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:23 am |
  12. junaid

    disagree with you bro your statics are wrong facebook has 2359620 users in Pakistan and they are educated peoples and they welcome that ban infect we are going to promote boycotting facebook and joining another social website which policies are against this racism and hatred. they have no right to hurt 1.7 billion Muslims feelings.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:57 am |
    • ;D

      >implying they care about Muslim's feelings in the first place

      May 21, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  13. Asad

    Obviously Musharraf would support such a ban, he also blocked several websites during his last year in power, and he would need a reason to justify his own act.

    Apart from that, who gave the courts here in Pakistan and the Government to put curbs on freedom to access any website across the internet, including Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Orkut and Flicker? Just because of a minuscule issue, they ended up blocking half of the websites over the internet, and doesn't that violate our fundamental rights here in Pakistan. Just because a minority was getting offended (I bet 90% of them never even heard of Facebook), they imposed their decision on all of us who didn't agree to such an approach, and the courts in Pakistan have behaved in the same manner.

    Who needs to worry about the Taliban coming to power when ever state is already behind the curtains is like that.

    May 21, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Ghaus Mohammad

      Well done..........going very well...........I think being a Muslim you must love your Allah's prophet, obey him and respect him because allah himself said in Quran, and if you are not doing so it means you are denying that and in the same time you are loosing your honour of being Muslim. and these all are happing just because of your nonsence ego...........you need to think again on your comment.

      May 21, 2010 at 5:12 am |
    • ;D

      Ghaus Mohammad how dare you use Mohammad in your name! It is offensive to Mohammad (PooBeUponHim)

      May 21, 2010 at 8:49 am |
    • salim

      have a better solution..

      Let Mohammad and Allah use their powers and kill all those people writing cartoons about them..

      Meanwhile, we pakistanis carry on with our difficult lives normally, instead of protesting or punishing the evil men.. Let the evil men be punished by Allah if not Mohammed..

      You know what, neither Allah nor Mohammed have taken any actions against those evil cartoonists.. On what sense should be stop earning our levlihood and get on to street to protest?

      May 22, 2010 at 9:24 am |
    • buahahah

      asad zaidi!!!

      May 23, 2010 at 3:08 pm |

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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.