Pakistan finally lifted the ban on Facebook today after the site apologized for Draw Muhammad Day. The whole bruhaha began two weeks ago when said day prompted Pakistani courts to order the site blocked. Depicting Muhammad is, of course, blasphemous.
Just a week ago, Facebook stated that the contents of the ‘Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!’ fan page weren’t violating Facebook’s terms and therefore were legit. Apparently, this is no longer relevant. “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 the IT ministry.
In case you’re amazingly out of the loop, the ‘sacrilegious material’ in question are images of the prophet Muhammad, drawn by people around the world, to protest the censoring of an episode of South Park by Comedy Central which featured Muhammad, like, dancing around in a bear suit or something. I dunno, I don’t really follow South Park these days. But I do follow Facebook.
Admittedly, it’s hard for me to write this, as I’m an illustrator, and sort of did the opposite of not participate in Draw Muhammad Day – but hey, if this is what it takes to keep Facebook accessible to Pakistan, no harm no foul, I guess. Let’s all kiss and make up, yeah? Water under the bridge. Reportedly, as of a couple hours ago Facebook was in fact still blocked from Pakistan, but ‘Everbody Draw Muhammad Day!’ is indeed kiboshed.