This article is written in disagreement with the article written by Arslan Ifitikhar on CNN. The reasons for disagreement are many. Mr. Arslan Iftikhar has given very strange arguments; at least for me they are very weak. This article will critically review Iftikhar’s article by taking one argument at a time.
Firstly, the unfortunate the start of the article is not representative of the topic but the checkered history of Pakistan’s military regimes, which has nothing to do with the Facebook ban. This start can be considered as a deliberate attempt to sabotage Pakistan’s image.
Second, the people of Pakistan took their case to the provincial high court, and being democratic country, Pakistani authorities took actions according to the courts order to ban the 800 websites having sacrilegious content. Facebook and Youtube are two of them.
Third, the famous parable author quoted in the article is totally out of context. Upon going through pages of history we come to know that in cases like these, where sacrilegious things rose against prophet Mohammad (S.A.W), and it’s not the prophet but Allah (S.W.T) himself answered to them. One of the examples can be found in the form of Surah e Lahab
“Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he” Chapter 111 V.1
Abu Lahab (Father of Flame) was the nickname of ‘Abd Al-‘Uzza, the Holy Prophet’s uncle and his inveterate enemy and persecutor. He was so called either because his complexion and hair were ruddy or also because he had a fiery temper. The Surah recalls an incident during the early preaching of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W). On being commanded by Allah (S.W.T) to call together his relatives and to deliver to them the Divine Message, the Holy Prophet, one day, stood on mount Safa and called the different Meccan (Makkah’s) tribes by name, the tribes of Luwayy, Murrah, Kilab and Qusayy and his near relatives, and told them that he is God’s Messenger, and that if they did not accept his Message and did not give up their evil ways, Divine punishment would overtake them. The Holy Prophet had hardly his speech, when Abu Lahab stood up and said, ‘Ruin seize thee, is it for this that thou hast called us together’ (Bukhari).
So, author is seriously misleading the Muslims by quoting wrong example from the Islamic history at the wrong context today. No doubt Muslims have “Ubuntu” standards in their life styles as an integral part of their religion.
Author has used very soft words i.e. “Idiotic Act”. Which was acceptable when Ms. Sayeeda Warsi (newly elected parliamentarian of England) use it when she was maligned or attacked but not in the case of an esteemed religious figure. Iftikhar should have condemned it in strongest words.
Fourth, the question raised by the author i.e. what would Mohammed [S.A.W] do? Becomes irrelevant in the light of above quoted verse of Holy Quran, which emanates that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) won’t do anything, but the Allah Almighty Himself will take care of that as Mohammad (S.A.W) is the beloved prophet of Allah (SWT).
Fifth, the earlier critic of military regimes in Pakistan later in the article turns to the critic of judicial and democratic decision. Author is not willing to accept the court’s orders to ban the sacrilegious websites, which is evident enough of the prejudices of the author.
Yes the extremism in Pakistan has caused greater damage to the Muslims and the Pakistan’s image, but it does not back the author’s view of not banning the sacrilegious websites. The author should consider the other side picture too where these sacrilegious content is considered to be valid in the name of freedom of expression
In a nutshell, the decision by Pakistani authorities to ban both Facebook and the Youtube has never been a stupid or wrong decision as it was the reflection of masses of Pakistan, who did it by going to the legal, ethical and more acceptable way by reaching court.