May 21st, 2010
09:41 AM ET

Opinion: Pakistan should ban extremism, not Facebook

Editor's note: Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer, founder of TheMuslimGuy.com and legal fellow for the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding in Washington.

By Arsalan Iftikhar, Special to CNN

For a country that has produced five military dictators in 60 years, mourned the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and struggles continually against its own militant extremists who have killed thousands in their own nation, Pakistan has absolutely picked the wrong fight by banning Facebook and YouTube because of an idiotic virtual campaign called "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."

According to a story on CNN.com, Pakistan blocked access to YouTube - a day after it shut down the social networking site Facebook - after an online group called on people to draw the Prophet Mohammed. In response, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority ordered its operators to shut down YouTube "in view of growing sacrilegious content on it."

Instead of knee-jerk political reactions and impassioned threats of violence, as proud millennial Muslims we should reflect and ponder how our Prophet Mohammed would have responded to such silly faux controversies.

Read the full column

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion • Politics • Uncategorized

May 21st, 2010
09:17 AM ET

My Take: Most victims of Muslim religious persecution are other Muslims

Editor's Note: Asma T. Uddin is founder and editor-in-chief of altmuslimah.com and an international law attorney with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

By Asma T. Uddin, special to CNN

Religious persecution in Muslim countries has gotten a lot of ink lately, but what's been mostly overlooked is that Muslims themselves are the most frequent victims of that persecution.

Members of minority religions are hurt disproportionately, owing largely
to the government's failure to prosecute crimes committed against these
individuals. But in terms of sheer numbers, it is Muslims of minority sects or Muslim dissidents who are most consistently victimized. The recently released annual report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) makes this abundantly clear.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Islam • Opinion • Politics • Religious liberty

« newer posts
About this blog

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 with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.