The Lahore High court has given orders to all ISP’s of the country to block Facebook immediately over a competition encouraging users to post caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) on this social networking site.
The depiction of any prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam as blasphemous and Muslims across the world staged angry protests over the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in European newspapers in 2006.
Controversy erupted in the conservative Muslim country last month when a Facebook user set up a page called “Draw Mohammed Day”, inviting people to send in their caricatures of the Muslim prophet on May 20.
The move angered thousands of young people and Muslim faithful in Pakistan, unleashing an online campaign and isolated protests that grabbed the government’s attention and the controversial page was blocked on Tuesday.
But a group of lawyers went a step further Wednesday and petitioned the court to order a blanket ban on Facebook in Pakistan.
Justice Ejaz Chaudhry of the Lahore High Court directed the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) to block Facebook until May 31, when the court will open a detailed hearing into the case.
The PTA Director told the court the government has already blocked the particular link. About complete ban, he said internet services could face problems if the complete website was banned.
However, the court ordered complete ban till May 31.
A large number of religious clerics, students and lawyers were present in the courtroom.