back to article Bangladesh cuts off Facebook

Bangladesh blocked Facebook over the weekend, leaving the social networking site marooned from another tranche of Muslim users even as Pakistan largely restored access to the site. The latest action against the site is, again, down to the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" group. Depictions of the prophet are considered blasphemous …

COMMENTS

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  1. Danny 14 Silver badge
    FAIL

    hah

    Fail. Not much else to say really.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Caricature

    The problem with banning specific caricatures is that one has to have a way of evaluating whether it is indeed a caricature, or if infact it is a drawing of something completely different... say, a friendly bear.

    And as was rightly pointed out in South Park, nobody (presumably) is in possession of an accurate sketch from which to evaluate the others for their likeness.

    And what happens if somebody draws a blasphemous picture of Mohammed and accidentally labels it 'Friendly Bear'. How can we tell which friendly bears are *actually* friendly bears, and which friendly bears are Mohammed?

    A difficult problem that should be taken very seriously indeed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Error: Damn not given...

    And we should care about this because...?

  4. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
    Grenade

    Taken seriously?

    I think not.

    Let the primitive and delusional religious types continue to wall themselves up in their own little enclaves where they can practice their insane beliefs.

    Personally, I think we're better off without such people on Facebook. Or anywhere else on the web for that matter.

  5. Chris Phillips

    But there are plenty of drawing of Mohammed within Islam??

    Islam used to be perfectly happy with images of Mohammed - http://zombietime.com/mohammed_image_archive/islamic_mo_full/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not the point

      The point is that religious nutjobs can push around people, here and there, by pretending that this is a problem. I wonder what would happen if we just ignored them, like religious nutjobs should properly be...?

    2. John H Woods

      Fixed that for you

      "Personally, I think we're better off without such people on Facebook. Or anywhere else on the web^H^Horld for that matter"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Availability

    Looks like there's some self-censoring going on here - the group "Against Everybody Draw Mohammed Day - May 20" is visible through external links without being logged in. If you try to follow an external link to the "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" group, you are redirected to the facebook login page.

    Paris because we all know she failed rather miserably in her attempts at self-censorship...

  7. Jolyon Ralph
    Thumb Up

    Everyone draw Mark Zuckerberg Day

    We need that next.

  8. Winkypop Silver badge
    Flame

    But....

    ...does this include ascii art?

    :- )=

    May or may NOT be a mythical religious dude.

  9. TkH11

    They don't get it

    This whole thing pokes the finger of intolerance at Islam, ridicules its followers for taking things so seriously.

    How does Islam respond? By showing its intolerance!

    A muslim ex-colleague of mine in Saudi Arabia decided personally to stop using FaceBook and questioned "Why do they do it to us?". They just don't get it do they.

    But then, if you geninuely have believed throughout your entire existence that Islam is the best religion out of the lot, then I suppose, you're just not going to get it.

    I long for the day when religion is banished from this earth.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titanic clash

    Can we just put Zuckerberg and their top Imam together in a cage match to the death. It would answer, once and for all, nothing really but would get rid of at least one of them and if lucky the winner would be mortally wounded as well. We could start a Face-bookie page for keeping the wagers straight. Now then, who will give me 3/2 on the Imam?

    Anon being in the States.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Restore access?!

    In the name of common sense, why?!

    All this hoo-ha over Muhammed aside, cutting off PlankBook might be hard at first, but you're doing humanity a massive favour, not to mention the IT security problems being solved.

  12. CD001

    I wonder...

    How well would a comic strip of the Virgin Mary wanking off God and using a turkey baster to perform the immaculate conception, go down in Ireland or parts of America for instance?

    If people want to believe in the Sky Fairy and a whole country of Sky Fairy worshippers want to block access to sites that mock their particular Sky Fairy - how does this affect the rest of the world? Surely they can go about blocking whatever they like - it doesn't stop anyone outside Sky Fairy land from visiting those sites.

    Every country blocks something whether it's donkey porn, hate-sites or anti-government sites (remember a certain Scorpions album not that long ago, Wikipedia and the UK) - if Bangladesh was blocking letspissonthekoran.com nobody would give a damn... but because it's Farcebook...

    1. Stuart Morrison
      Stop

      Re: I wonder...

      "If people want to believe in the Sky Fairy and a whole country of Sky Fairy worshippers want to block access to sites that mock their particular Sky Fairy - how does this affect the rest of the world?"

      Because those in that country that are not Sky Fairy worshippers (perhaps few, perhaps not so few) are blocked whether they want to be or not and because inevitably your local brand of Sky Fairy worshippers will start to think that if that lot can get away with it then they can get away with it too.

    2. Lionel Baden

      Ahem

      You seem to be forgetting rule number 34

    3. Tom 13

      No need to wonder

      It's public exposition would be funded by tax dollars despite howls of protest. Google

      "Piss Christ" for examples, wire stories, etc.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Post anonymously?

    I demand all the blasphemous idolaters who say anyone other than the FSM is god be kicked off the interwebs forthwith. Yarr/ (Although Ceiling Cat worshippers can stay because we like kitten pictures)

    I don't have high hopes for a species that continues to cause fights amongst itself based on any so-called god, it's just proof we're idiots.

  14. Small Mind
    Coat

    Doesn't make sense..

    I'm a Muslim but I find all this censoring totally rubbish and self defeatist (not necessarily a view that many others hold, but I bet I'm not the only one). As other posters have pointed out, it brings a sense of ridicule to all Muslims not just those that decide they know what every other should be seeing and thinking.

    Why I don't worry too much about this is that

    a) If your faith in religion (Islam in this case) is strong, then

    b) you believe there is an afterlife, then

    c) you believe that souls will reap the rewards of leading a good life, or,

    d) souls will face eternal punishment for 'being bad'

    From a Muslim's point of view, 'being bad' includes I would suggest blaspheming the Prophet or any other parts of Islam.

    So I don't see why I need to go and get all fundamentalist on people's a**es as there can't be any punishment that I meat out (from murder through to burning flags or blocking websites) that will compare to an eternity of punishment from God.

    My basic point is that I don't think Islam (replace with the religion of your own persuasion) really needs 'protecting' - as this is the religion laid down by the creator of the universe, I hardly think God is defenceless and needs squidgy-bodied mortals to come to the rescue in a froth of fundamentalism, jihad or hyper-indignation.

    But I can understand people being upset by others purposely maligning or ridiculing deeply held beliefs and feeling. In general there is no need to insult anyone, is there? So if I believe in God and an afterlife and you don't, surely we can agree to disagree and have sensible discussions (if people want that) about our faiths rather than throwing insults and seeking to hurt (physically and/or emotionally) each other. After all, I wouldn't insult your mother because I didn't like that you appeared to love her very much.

    Ok, I'll get my coat now - back to my architecture modelling...

    1. Richard Scratcher
      Pint

      Makes perfect sense..

      Of course God doesn't need protecting (or so He tells me) but violently minded people need some sort of justification to attack their fellow man.. or woman.. mostly women actually, those shameless brazen hussies who go around deliberately reflecting photons off their bodies into men's eyes....Where was I? Oh yeah, they need an excuse and religion gives them the perfect one, because it comes from an authority that trumps any other laws or rules that might stand in their way.

      I'm an atheist so I'll only kill you if I find you wearing the wrong football scarf or if you spill my pint.

    2. Andrew Meredith
      Flame

      Not quite the point

      "So if I believe in God and an afterlife and you don't, surely we can agree to disagree and have sensible discussions (if people want that) about our faiths rather than throwing insults and seeking to hurt (physically and/or emotionally) each other. After all, I wouldn't insult your mother because I didn't like that you appeared to love her very much." - Small Mind

      Your strand of quiet, personal faith is, I am afraid, on the wane at the moment.

      The 21st century is suffering from the "let them express themselves, yaah" approach to child discipline that has left the new (and not so new) young adults convinced that their own needs and wants are paramount and that they are among the most important people on the planet. This seems to have brought out a new breed of utterly convinced religious loonies that don't just want to practice their particular beliefs in the privacy of their own homes, or Churches/Synagogues/Mosques/Hollowed out trees, but feel compelled to try and impose their laws and morals on everyone else.

      I do not suffer preachers gladly, so I have gone toe to toe with some of these people. The first thing you have to understand is that they are "Right" and any gainsaying of this position is blasphemy and I should be locked up. When you look at what you said through this lens, you might be able to understand why the agnostic/atheist majority get a bit p***ed off with "Sky Fairy Worshippers" dictating morals, laws and even national foreign policy.

      As for "After all, I wouldn't insult your mother because I didn't like that you appeared to love her very much." ... sorry, that doesn't wash. I have talked to, photographed and hugged my Mother, pretty recently, so I am (existentialism notwithstanding) pretty convinced that she exists. I have less proof than that about any God, monotheistic or otherwise.

      People don't get fired up because you appear to love your God. They get fired up when you use that love to justify impinging on their lives. Just because your faith gets all nervous in the presence of the female form is no justification for viciously hounding a young non-muslim girl in Bradford for not wearing a full-body-mask. It is this sort of thing that makes the usually tolerant British Atheist Majority angry.

      1. Small Mind

        I do understand..

        Yes I understand and indeed respect your points. I guess I was trying to put across that I don't get worked up in terms of insisting I am right or insisting that others have to see things my way. Religion is a personal thing for me so you won't find me preaching to anyone.

        I don't think I'm the only Muslim (replace with your own faith or ideology) who is like this and the reason for my original post is that I wanted to express that I feel it doesn't make sense to go and block websites.

        My point about loving one's mother has been misunderstood as I didn't articulate it very well. The point is only this; that it does hurt when something or someone you feel deeply about is purposely targeted. My reaction to this hurt is one that I wish lots of other religious people would adopt - i.e. keep the faith and be sensible in the way you respond. There are others who wish the world would be more like this, but unfortunately this way of thinking which is naturally orientated towards mutual respect and being measured in reaction, is drowned out by those who choose to use violence or oppression to put their point forward (and it is these that the media highlight). Oh by the way, oppression works both ways.

        I'll get my coat again - I wasn't looking to inflame and yet look how easy it is even when trying to be sensitive.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Facebook should ban them

    Facebook shouldn't put up with this sort of discriminatory behaviour.

    In retaliation it should permanently ban all the IP addresses registered in these countries.

  16. kevin biswas
    Stop

    Shoddy journalism..

    Am I the only person here posting from Bangladesh ? Access to facebook was primeraly blocked because of insulting cartoons of the prime minister (Hasina) and the leader of the opposition (Zia). The originator of these particular cartoons was arrested by RAB (the elite police force). AKAIK the issue of insult to Islam and the availability of porn on facebook were very much secondary considerations. (Bangladesh is indeed a Muslim majority nation but the curent Awami League government are devout secularists). The Daily Star's report is available here. http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=140613 (The Daily Star is Bangladesh's premier english language newspaper).

    1. Richard 39

      Ooo Ahh Daily Star

      If you're referring to the same paper as available in the UK then shame on you! It is a red-top, trashmag.

      Oh and blocking facebook because someone made insulting cartoons about your PM, porn and insult to islam - do you not get the internet?

      You don't see us wetting our pants and crying to mummy because someone make a cartoon about our PM (everyday!!). Porn on facebook? man you're in for a shock when you find google and finally, insult to islam! please! That's life. There will always be someone out there who will say something you will find insulting, that's human nature. So, are you going to be a pansy all your life and cry to mummy to stop the evil voices, or are you going to man up, realise the world for what it is and get about leading your life.

      1. kevin biswas
        WTF?

        You should check your eyes.......

        Because you read a lot of things there which I certainly didn't write.

        I pointed out that the reported facts were incorrect, incomplete, and poorly researched. In my eyes that constitutes shoddy journalism (sorry el Reg).

        Then I reported the BD Government's stated reasons for the actions they took. I did not say that I approved of those reasons, or with the action. I merely reported them for the record.

        Finally, AFAIK the Bangladesh Daily Star is unrelated to the UK Daily Star (Which is indeed a shameful rag). It is a perfectly serious broadsheet with a mild to middling left wing bias. (Maybe comparable to the UK Guardian or Independent). It is Bangladesh's leading English language newspaper.

      2. kevin biswas
        WTF?

        @ Richard: You should check your eyes.......

        Because you read a lot of things there which I certainly didn't write.

        I pointed out that the reported facts were incorrect, incomplete, and poorly researched. In my eyes that constitutes shoddy journalism (sorry el Reg).

        Then I reported the BD Government's stated reasons for the actions they took. I did not say that I approved of those reasons, or with the action. I merely reported them for the record.

        Finally, AFAIK the Bangladesh Daily Star is unrelated to the UK Daily Star (Which is indeed a shameful rag). It is a perfectly serious broadsheet with a mild to middling left wing bias. (Maybe comparable to the UK Guardian or Independent). It is Bangladesh's leading English language newspaper.

  17. TkH11

    @SmallMind

    "My basic point is that I don't think Islam (replace with the religion of your own persuasion) really needs 'protecting' - as this is the religion laid down by the creator of the universe"

    Do you not understand that this is one of the key problems in Islam?

    This position that has been indroctinated in to you from the age of 5 that Islam is the best religion there is and that it is perfect and so beyond question.

    It is this attitude that leads to arrogance and intolerance. Because Islam is perfect - it must be perfect because it was created by God himself - it must not be challenged, criticised and this leads its followers to taking it so seriously.

    I'll be blunt, it's all BS! It's time you woke up to what causes the problems.

    I have one question for you. You've made quite a claim, it's a huge claim. You said, " this is the religion laid down by the creator of the universe"

    My question? Where is the evidence that proves that Islam was created by God him/herself?

    Mankind can't even prove the existence of God! And yet, here you are, in your arrogance, proclamining that God created Islam.

    Do you not have any understanding of the problems that result from this arrogance?

    1. fred #257

      @TkH11

      I think you're tilting at windmills.

      'Smallmind' says "My basic point is that I don't think Islam (replace with the religion of your own persuasion) really needs 'protecting' "

      So he's arguing against censorship (by any religion) and you're getting stuck into him for intolerance? I suggest you choose your targets more carefully.

      He believes his religion is the true one - well, golly gosh, you show me a religion that doesn't think that. (And if they don't, why would they bother with it?)

      That's not really the problem, the problem is those religiosos (Muslims/Xtians/Hindus/Jews/atheists/etc ad infinitum) who are fanatical about it and want to impose their beliefs on everybody else. 'Smallmind' doesn't seem to be one of those, so tearing into him is quite unjusitfied and isn't going to help anybody.

      (Btw I'm not a muslim, I'm an atheist. I'll go through the roof if somebody tries to tell me what to believe. Oh, and the world is full of people who think (by definition of their religion) that I'm going to go to hell. But then I 'know' I'm not. Nothing to pick a fight over.)

  18. TkH11

    @SmallMind - Creator of the Universe

    As you will have realised from my previous post - if it's published - that I don't have much time for this religious nonsense. Yes, I acknowledge that religion does have its uses, but the idea that there is a creator of the universe, is just farcical.

    The idea that there is a God, that there is a creator is simply a mechanism developed by mankind to try to explain what used to be inexplicable. Hundreds of years ago, people needed a way to explain where the universe came from, where Earth came from and where we, mankind came from.

    With all the advancements we've made in the last 100 years, I''m quite frankly amazed, dumbstruck even, that you can believe blindly n the concept of a creator.

    There are still many unanswered questions but we have gone a long way to answering them.

    Physics, quantum mechanics, we've discovered some very strange things which we've been able to explain (to some degree), surely this has opened up the possibility, or near certainty that a creator does not exist! - but there are things which are simply beyond our comprehension, but the fact we can't explain them fully does not prove the existence of a creator! The fact we can't explain them means that as a species we haven't yet evolved far enough, discovered enough, learned enough to be able to explain them. That is NOT proof of the existence of a God.

    Perhaps as a species, we simply lack the brain power to ever understand how the universe came into being, much like a cat or a dog could never understand the idea that energy levels are quantised.

    I'm sure the believer's response would be: We haven't proved that God exists, but then we haven't disproved it.

    I'd rather believe in something *when* it's been proven to exist thank you. if you want to adopt the alternative position, then you will automatically lose my respect.

    I'm baffled by the absolute and total belief that many people have in the existence of something which hasn't been proved and when certainly there's some weighty evidence to indicate it would be disproven. I can conclude that you know little of Physics.

    1. Small Mind
      Happy

      Ok, one more reply..

      Hi TkH11

      I was going to stop posting on this but felt the need to reply. I am not a polymath so don't know everything about everything that the human race has come upon, but I do know enough about physics that nothing indicates that there can't be a creator.

      However, I completely understand your position that if something is not only yet to be proven but seems at odds with the current human understanding of the workings of this universe, then you're not going to accept it. No problem with that.

      But you do acknowledge that we may never answer the ultimate questions about life, the universe and everything (although it's possible that even Douglas Adams comic account of it is as close to the truth as anything!). We may not have the intellect to achieve this, just like a dog would never be able to understand quantisation of energy levels. But a dog will never be able to understand religion either!

      I think I am being found out here though - I mentioned that my faith is personal to me and I don't bang on about it. The main reason is that I think I am open minded and don't like the associated baggage that seems to come with all mainstream religions (e.g. the propensity to preach to others and feel smug or patronising about them going to hell etc.).

      Let's all chill - the question of does god exist will never be answered satisfactorily depending on what answer one believes in.

  19. Small Mind
    Happy

    I've been misunderstood but still get what you're saying

    I think Fred #257 got my point better. I wasn't trying to inflame by saying that God is the creator of the universe - It's my belief and I fully know that there are very different views to this. I'm just not trying to ram it down people's throats because as I said my faith is a personal thing for me. I don't even ram it down my children's throats!

    I love science and would love to be able to understand the real maths behind quantum physics and string theories. Alas I never will as my maths stopped at A-level level and life is too busy for me to spend the time needed (and perhaps, just perhaps, I would never get it as it's beyond my mental capability). Anyway my point is this - I read lots of popular science books from Hawkings to Penrose and Green, but none of these great books indicate to me that there can't be a creator of the universe. Indeed many of the great scientists and theorists of this era believe in God, but I like the fact that those that do don't bang on about it.

    Ah but now I'm falling too easily in to the age old problem - we all start trying to justify our own positions, which is just what I don't want to do because my faith is something personal to me.

    I still agree with the general point - I wish that people would use their faith to guide their own behaviours and actions (if they need it - because I can't say that one needs religion to tell them that killing is wrong). Instead so many people use religion to tell other people what to do (in oppressive and violent ways sometimes) and it goes back to my fundamental point that I don't agree with this and hence don't agree with this specific example of blocking Facebook.

    I wasn't indoctrinated from the age of 5 by the way - my parents tried but I rebelled from an early age as I got in to science and the basic philosophy of not believing anything unless there is robust evidence. However as I get older, what I do see is (sorry for the cliche) that the more we find out, the less we know. This is a great thing to be honest - the human intellect's thirst for knowledge, invention and discovery will never diminish, but nor will the universe's unending depth of complexity and subtlety (or so it seems at the present time). It's almost like our minds were made perfectly for the universe we live in!

    Cheers all for a good debate off the back of this censorship thing. No more posts from me on this topic - when it starts looking like the discussion is going down the route of proving or disproving God, I know we're heading in to a cul-de-sac!

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