21 January 2018
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  • » 03/17/2017, 10.26

    PAKISTAN

    Islamabad asks for help from Facebook to block online blasphemy



    The Government asks for experts to track user comments. The social media giant, however, wants to protect the rights and privacy of its users. The unstated goal is to control the activities of dissidents, including the five intellectuals and bloggers kidnapped last month.

     

    Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The government in Islamabad has asked Facebook to collaborate in the fight against the blasphemous comments on its pages.

    Yesterday, the Interior Ministry spokesman said that the social media giant has agreed to send a team of experts to investigate offensive remarks about Muhammad. But while the Pakistani authorities expect collaboration, the Facebook management is more cautious and has not confirmed the dispatch of experts.

    Indeed, France Press reports that Facebook has only said it will consider Islamabad’s requests, always keeping in mind "the goal of protecting the privacy and the rights of our users."

    The issue came to the fore this week when the High Court launched an investigation into the content published on social networks that might be offensive to religious feelings of Muslim believers. Specifically under review are the online activities of the five intellectuals and bloggers kidnapped in January and who reappeared after a month of imprisonment and torture.

    Ever since the story of dissident intellectuals came to light, most likely made to disappear in order to silence their criticism of the extremist circles in the government and armed forces, critics complain about abuse of control by the authorities. Not only that, they often consider the accusation of blasphemy, which in Pakistan is punishable by the death penalty, is being used to suppress minorities.

    The premier Nawaz Sharif has come out in support of the  judges investigation, stating that anyone who insults Mohammed "commits an unforgivable offense." Previously, however, he said that soon Pakistan will be "friend of minorities", enhancing dialogue and inter-religious harmony between the communities.

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    See also

    18/04/2017 14:17:00 PAKISTAN
    Pakistani Imam call for Asia Bibi’s execution after the lynching of Mardan student

    Islamic leaders want the hanging of a Christian mother as a deterrent to mass violence. They believe the behavior of students who killed and tortured one of their colleagues for alleged blasphemy is justifiable. Commission for Justice and Peace: "Universities should teach critical thinking, the virtues of tolerance, coexistence and acceptance."



    20/05/2010 PAKISTAN - ISLAM
    Pakistan: after Facebook, the blasphemy law also blocks YouTube
    The Telecommunications Authority decided to close the website that allows the sharing of videos. Behind the decision, the transfer from Facebook to YouTube of material that offends the prophet Muhammad. Some Wikipedia pages also obscured.

    30/08/2011 UZBEKISTAN
    Tashkent launches 'state-run Facebook'
    Mulogot, Uzbekistan’s first social network, is born. Sponsored by Government, it aims to keep a closer control of Internet users. Activists: Karimov fears Arabic style revolution.

    02/01/2018 10:35:00 PAKISTAN
    Islamabad, abducted intellectuals acquitted of blasphemy

    Bloggers and activists have all fled abroad. Public pressure favours their acquittal. One activist spoke of torture. Demands for an investigation against those who spread "false propaganda".



    04/10/2012 INDIA
    India: Blog, Facebook and Twitter, the new frontier for evangelization
    Fr. Errol Fernandes SJ, an expert in communication and new technologies, says new technologies are among the "best tools" to get in touch with others. Not surprisingly, he notes, Benedict XVI has chosen the theme " Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization " for the next World Day of Social Communications.



    Editor's choices

    EGYPT – LEBANON
    Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

    Fady Noun

    A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


    CHINA
    Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



    The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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