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Facebook Banned my account
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By Saad Mustafa Warraich, Karachi – Pakistan

I had been banned from Facebook and my account had been disabled a night before Facebook was banned in Pakistan. Before all this happened, I visited the blasphemous page “Draw Muhammad Day” and the content on the page hurt me badly.

Once again a certain group of westerners called it the “freedom of expression” and went on to show extremism – something they always verbally disassociate themselves from.

As a response to this lunacy, I thought it best to find out how they respond to others’ right of freedom of expression – I created an Adolf Hitler page right away and it read, “To all those who think they can ridicule Islam in the name of freedom of expression and yet punish those who speak of the genius of Hitler”.

The comment on the wall read, “Let’s hit them where it hurts them the most”. Further I added some photos of the Fuhrer, Nazi Party and the Italian Footballer Paolo Di Canio who was banned and fined by FIFA two years ago for performing the “controversial” Roman Salute which according to him gave him a sense of belonging to his people.

Within an hour tens of people joined the Hitler page which was named “H | T L E R”. The very next time I tried to log in I found out that my profile had been disabled for ‘violation of Facebook Regulations’.


Facebook’s reply for my inquiry was as following

Hi Saad,

After reviewing your situation, we have determined that your violated our Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. One of Facebook’s main priorities is the comfort and safety of our users.

We do not tolerate hate speech. Targeting people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, or disease is a serious violation of our standards and has resulted in the permanent loss of your account.

We will not be able to reactivate your account for any reason. This decision is final.

Kimmie
User Operations,
Facebook

Now how is it that Hitler is termed as the most evil person in the history of mankind while those that bomb Muslims, commit heinous crimes in their countries, ridicule their Prophet and Quran and as a result hurt the sentiments of 1.2 billion Muslims are hailed as heroes? And I wonder why the victims of Holocaust are more important than victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Despite the protest of a large number of Muslims, Facebook has not removed the blasphemous page from the website.

According the statement issued by Facebook their policy is to withhold such content in countries where it is controversial. The statement specifically says that we do not remove Nazi content from Facebook because it is illegal only in a few countries. As two-faced statements go, this one takes the prize. Perhaps before issuing the statement the Facebook did not realise that words like “Adolf Hitler”, “Sieg Heil” and “Nazi” are not allowed to be used on Facebook to create new pages.

And if all this and the removal of Hitler page and the permanent deactivation of my profile isn’t enough, here is a testament to Facebook’s vile hypocrisy. The statement issued by Facebook on 20 May says, “We strongly believe that Facebook users have the freedom to express their opinions, and we don’t typically take down content, groups or pages that speak out against countries, religions, political entities, or ideas.”

While, in another instance, Facebook replied me in entirely different way. Excerpt and screenshot is given above.

Now these two conflicting statements speak volumes about the discrimination by the Facebook. It simply means that Facebook through its official statement to global media wants the world to believe that they are the torchbearers of freedom of expression and allow everyone to speak their minds out. On the other hand the face that individuals like me get to see is a much horrible one. It talks about hate and intolerance and all forms of so-called equality and unshakable resolve. While Facebook is portraying itself as the silent and innocent onlooker for the entire world, I wonder what gives them the right to remove a major chunk of my life from the web.

I don’t think Facebook should come up with any clarification statements for the Muslim world over what happened. It is clearer than crystal that as long as we are labelled as extremists, we are not going to enjoy the equal rights in this world. And those that are trying to play God love to label us that. While reporting the Facebook ban in Pakistan in different articles, guardian.co.uk mentions the brutality of Pakistan Army in Swat whileYahoo thinks it’s necessary to unveil Al-Qaida’s plans of attacks on Danish and Dutch football teams. It is a blatant attempt to criticize Pakistan for placing the ban, link the country to extremism and terrorism and thereby justifying this sacrilegious act of Facebook users.

Disclaimer: This article is produced to examine the equality of “Freedom of Expression” for multiple group of religions in the world, and how one organization sees it. ProPakistani doesn’t support hatred content against any religion, race or any other specific group of people based on any ideology.
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Commented By: danish On: 07-06-2010

The question is, what will you achieve by creating multiple hitler pages? Prove that facebook can’t block them? Or prove that Muslims can somehow overwhelm facebook and hence they should now also start blocking the cartoons page?

No. let’s not create strawmen.

What will you achieve by blocking the cartoons page? All of a sudden, magically create respect for the Prophet amongst those who enjoy such kind of muslim-bashing? Perhaps, you can deliver a message that Muslims won’t tolerate this kind of speech lying down. But then what? Where will you draw the line? They can bash muslims all they want on Fox as long as they don’t insult the prophet?

The issue is not terrorism or equating Prophet with terrorism. The issue is degrading the prophet. The point is when you allow degrading my prophet, you are not welcome in my home.

No, both are not hate speech. At least not *all* of the cartoons are hate speech (I haven’t seen more than a handful). Most of them are associating muslims with terrorism. But the media does that anyway without involving the prophet, and we don’t start banning facebook when that happens. Does involving the prophet somehow make the association of muslims with terrorism somehow stronger?

The issue is not Muslims and terrorism, again. You have to be extremely naïve to say such stuff. The issue at hand is the degradation of Rasool-ullah (sallalaho-alaihi-wassalam). That’s it.
Commented By: Nawab On: 16-06-2010

1. One thing which I learnt from your comments, below:-

So, associating muslims with terrorism is not hate speech.

Thanks


2.I am not much concerned if terrorism association becomes stronger or not. But involving the Prophet (peace be upon him) matters to me. Let’s first discuss #1 above.
Commented By: danish On: 16-06-2010

Short Answer:

No, I don’t think the cartoons fall under the legal definition of hate speech. As a business entity, Facebook is obliged to follow only the minimum required by US Law.



Long Answer:



#1. I’m sure you can find a 100 definitions of hate speech on the web. Wikipedia says that



“Hate speech is, outside the law, any communication which disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race or sexual orientation.”



So yes, associating Muslims with terrorism is hate speech. But then so is associating “Memons” with being misers. Or if that reference is too Pakistani for you, then associating Italians with laziness. In my opinion, this kind of associating is stereotyping and profiling at best. I do agree that such stereotypes are wrong. But Facebook cannot take up a policy to take down all forms of stereotyping from its site because that is impossible, and frankly not required.
Commented By: danish On: 16-06-2010

Summary:

No, I don’t think the cartoons fall under the legal definition of hate speech. As a business entity, Facebook is obliged to follow only the minimum required by US Law.



As a smart business entity, Facebook is required to define a policy on where it draws the line on these things and stick to it. If it caves in on one of these issues, then tomorrow a thousand other minorities will be up in arms demanding take down of their own protected saints, heros and what not. Exagerated scenario: Imagine the Emacs fanatics claiming that the vi worshippers are disparaging their religion by making defamatory statements about how Emacs sucks compares to vi. Its an exaggeration, but if you can detach your emotions for just a second and entertain this thought than you can see that it has merit. There will be teenage groups claiming that calling Lindsay Lohan a druggie and a lesbian is insensitive and hurting their emotions.



I know some of you will be outraged that I can even compare Muslims’ hurt feelings over their sensitivity to the respect of the Prophet to some developers’ sensitivity to Emacs/vi or some fans’ sensitivity to Lindsay Lohan. But what I’m trying to highlight is that if you are going to make arguments based on “sensitivity” alone, then be prepared to give others’ sensitivities equal consideration to your own.



Should facebook take down a group making fun of Lindsay for being a druggie and that parents should make sure their kids don’t grow up to be like that? Probably not.

Should facebook take down a group saying that people like Lindsay who are druggies or lesbians should die, or should be hurt or punished? Probably yes.
Commented By: umar On: 16-06-2010

It’s somewhat puzzling NOT hating or praising a person can be considered “hate” speech and vilifying and attacking another person is NOT hate speech.

The laws in Europe are akin to all of the Muslim world passing laws against “Crusade denial”. 10 times more people were killed by Communists but there is no law against denying Stalin was an evil man.

Either way “the law is the law” and it doesn’t have to make much sense. What I see from this thread is a conversation with leanings regardless of the law.

JazakAllah Khair wa Salam,

-Umar.
Commented By: hashim On: 16-06-2010

Unless off course you are special i.e control enough out there. In addition, racism in Europe is a fact of life. And it’s learn as you go. So right now they are awaiting for another slaughter say a million or two Muslims then if their racism is capped and the ONLY if the right circumstances are present they might just pass a law. As if they don’t have enough blood on their hands. Till then the trend continues to spiral for Muslims in Europe .……



A friend just returned from a European country and while commentary in the US would land you in hot water over they were calling him “Taliban” because he had a large beard. If this is how they treat Doctors (PHD’s) how do you think the poor, cleaner, worker, cook is treated!! My GOD it’s hell over there….
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