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Muslim Country Orders Facebook to Block 'Blasphemy' of Islam, Facebook Obeys

03-28-2017

It's no secret that Pakistan punishes people who insult Islam with a death sentence. Now, the majority Muslim country is making Facebook the new battleground for its war on blasphemy.  

Pakistani officials called on Facebook to block blasphemous content online from appearing in the country. Anyone posting the content will face fines, imprisonment, or death. Facebook representatives will visit Pakistan this week to discuss the issue.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan says Facebook has already started cracking down by blocking content Pakistani Muslims believe is blasphemous.

Khan calls Facebook's actions a "very big improvement."

"We see it very positively that at the highest level Facebook has responded and takes this issue seriously," he added.

Officials say Facebook has already removed 85 per cent of anti-Islamic content from Pakistan in the last few weeks.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Ismael Shah views Facebook's compliance to Pakistan's blasphemy laws as a victory.

"Facebook agreeing to our demands is a big achievement," the PTA chief said.

Facebook has not confirmed or denied the removing content, but said it takes Pakistan's concerns seriously.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani government has already begun arresting citizens accused of having offensive content on their computers and mobile phones.

Khan told the country's Islamabad High Court that three citizens have been arrested by the Federal Internal Agency for allegedly posting blasphemous content on social media.

Their cellphones, laptops, and computers were reportedly seized and are under investigation.

Many Pakistani bloggers and Facebook users who post anti-Islamic content are concerned they could be next to receive a blasphemy charge.

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