A Facebook page that was considered offensive to Muslims and led to a Pakistani ban on the site has been removed, possibly by its creator. But Facebook had not taken any action on the page, which had attracted more than 100,000 users and encouraged users to post images of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), purportedly in support of freedom of speech.
Muslims regard any depiction of the Prophet (PBUH) as blasphemous. Najibullah Malik, the secretary at Pakistan’s information technology ministry, said earlier Friday that the government had no option but to shut down Facebook on Wednesday after a court order to do so.
Pakistan said it would consider restoring Facebook and other sites with related content only if they took down pages considered offensive to Islam. There was no immediate word on whether the government was lifting the ban.
Meanwhile, Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris, whose satirical cartoon calling for an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” inspired the Facebook page, said in a post on her website that she meant her work only to be a commentary on the “South Park” controversy.
“I made a cartoon about the television show South Park being censored,” she wrote. “I never started a Facebook page. I apologize to people of Muslim faith and ask that this ‘day’ be called off.”