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Pakistan authorities wants Facebook founder charged with blasphemy

FACEBOOK founder Mark Zuckerberg is being investigated by Pakistani police under a section of the penal code that carries the death sentence for blasphemy against the “prophet” Mohammed.

Wanted for crimes against Mo: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg

According to this report, Pakistan’s Deputy Attorney General has launched a criminal investigation against Zuckerberg and others in response to Facebook hosting a “Draw Muhammad” contest on the site late last month.

On May 19, Pakistani authorities blocked access to Facebook over the contest, and this ban was lifted on May 31 after Facebook removed the page in Pakistan and other countries.

Asked to comment, a Facebook spokeswoman told us the company does not comment on legal matters.

Last month, according to English-language Pakistani newspaper The News International, a Pakistani High Court judge summoned the police after lawyer Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed an application for a First Information Report (FIR), claiming that the owners of Facebook had committed a heinous and serious crime under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code. In essence, an FIR launches a criminal investigation. But so far no charges have been filed.

According to the paper, Section 295-C of the penal code reads:

Use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine.

According to two reports — one at Boxcrack.net, a kind of citizen journalism site run by Privacy International, and another at Pro Pakistani, a Pakistani Telecom and IT news site that lifted the news from BBC Urdu — the Deputy Attorney General has indeed lodged an FIR against Zuckerberg, fellow co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes, and “Andy”, the German woman who initiated the Draw Muhammad contest under a pseudonym.

According to Pro Pakistani, petitioner Muhammad Azhar Sidiqque said he’s waiting for the police to contact Interpol about making arrangements for the arrest of Facebook’s owners and “Andy”.

A pramful of Pakistani Muslims venting their anger against Facebook

The site also says that the Deputy Attorney General told the High Court that Pakistan’s United Nations representative has asked to escalate the issue in the UN General Assembly.

Hat tip: Alan

56 Responses to “Pakistan authorities wants Facebook founder charged with blasphemy”

  1. jared says:

    these people are just ridiculous. Can’t we just laugh at the crazies and move on with our life like we used to? Can’t we just ignore such inanities? They think they can just patrol the world, looking to fight against these “blasphemers”– THATS NOT HOW IT WORKS!!!! you get to control your own silly little oppressed people, and we get to ignore you. and if you try to stop us, we then have the right to use our wealth, resources, and technology to overpower you and your little beliefs. this people can be hushed away. take away their little television cameras, get our reporters out of their countries, and let them figure out how to make Iphones and their own food. Let their little voices try to be heard over our awesomeness

  2. jared says:

    GSW and Barriejohn have it right. i was trying to pinpoint this sort of mentality- where they think they are allowed to control anyone they want. Hmmm, that seems vaguely familiar. But wait, I’m from the US. Who in the US wants to control me through their religious dogmas? Hmm, I’m having trouble placing a finger on it. Well, I know it can’t possibly be those christians. They wouldn’t ever try to control anyone else b/c of religion. thats just not christ-like

  3. bobh says:

    How come Saudi Arabia has no christian churches, Jewish temples, or ethical humanist meeting halls? Yet they have the nerve to turn around and build mosques in other countries.

  4. David Schwartz says:

    @Em: That’s all very interesting. It would be illuminating to hear your thoughts on *this* issue though. Specifically, on the attempts of Pakistan to press criminal charges against people in other countries who say things that insult their religious beliefs.

    It seems you just said a whole bunch of stuff that everyone agrees on and implied that this somehow defends Pakistan’s actions here. Well, no, it doesn’t.

  5. biga says:

    wow haha everyone neeeds to chill the fuck out…

  6. Jim Garland says:

    Islam is a cancer to humanity and must be eradicated from our history. It has only brought evil into this world and those who dispute this truly are ignorant in that they have not read the quran in Arabic, the Hadiths, and multitudes of Islamic books written in Arabic that would shame any decent human being who believes they are muslim.

    Before bearing arms and looking to revenge, look to the light for knowledge and academic research would only confirm any truth. A belief system that does not advocate research and questioning is only a cult.

    The truth shall set you free.