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Bangladesh Blocks Facebook Over Muhammad Cartoons 562

Posted by kdawson
from the try-syndication dept.
lbalbalba writes with a BBC story about Bangladesh following Pakistan in censoring Facebook. "Bangladesh has blocked access to Facebook after satirical images of the prophet Muhammad and the country's leaders were uploaded. One man has been arrested and charged with 'spreading malice and insulting the country's leaders' with the images. Officials said the ban was temporary and access to the site would be restored once the images were removed. It comes after Pakistan invoked a similar ban over 'blasphemous content.' ... Thousands of people joined anti-Facebook protests in Bangladesh on Friday demanding the site be blocked over the contest. A telecomm regulator there said, "Facebook will be re-opened once we erase the pages that contain the obnoxious images." And how do they propose to do that?
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Bangladesh Blocks Facebook Over Muhammad Cartoons

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  • by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1.yahoo@com> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:46PM (#32401024) Journal

    Let's totally unplug all backwards theocracies from the internet.

    • by santax (1541065) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:54PM (#32401098)
      But but but... I like to be able to contact my American and European friends you empathy lacking clod!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's a bad idea as internet access has a serious western influence on these countries, for better or for worse.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:15PM (#32401266)

        That's a bad idea as internet access has a serious western influence on these countries, for better or for worse.

        Every time I see a story like this it makes me want to find the part of my state with the highest Islamic population and then decorate the streets so they cannot walk ten feet without seeing a cartoon making fun of Mohammed. It would be a way to say "welcome to the ridicule and derision Christians and Jews and others are expected to put up with." Psychologists call this "systematic desensitization" when it's used for phobias and other irational fears. In the case of Islam everyone would be better off for it. It would absolutely not be an attack against Islam. It would merely establish parity between Islam and all other major religions.

        It's time for Islam to learn what Christianity learned hundreds of years ago. Not everyone is going to adhere to your religion and fighting crusades, jihads, or holding inquisitions won't change that and is not the correct solution. All that does is convince every non-adherant that you're really a bunch of barbarians who use force because you don't actually believe in your faith or the power of its message. If your goal is to spread your religion, this is extremely counter-productive and will produce unyielding resistance to it. Realistically, every time an Islamic terrorist makes something go "ka-boom" do you think the rest of us say "wow, that Islam sure has some great points, I better convert today!" or do you think we say "yup, what a bunch of primitive savages." It does not help that the more moderate Islamic leaders rarely or never condemn the murderous actions of their extremist brethren. It's as though they are afraid to, or they agree with the extremists, and either case means that the extremist minority gets to dictate the entire course of Islam. Again, that's not a selling point if you want to win converts.

        For all religious people, Islamic or not, here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will. If others do things that you consider blasphemous, say a quiet prayer for them in your own privacy wishing that they come to understand things as you do. If they don't, consider it the will of an all-knowing and all-powerful God and leave those people the hell alone. If they do, celebrate that your prayers had an effect. I know that has the serious drawback of not giving you an excuse to force others to behave as you think they should, but you can get over that.

        • by Pharmboy (216950) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:24PM (#32401830) Journal

          here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will.

          That would hold true for all religions. Fortunately, about 90% of Christians and 100% of Jews in America don't care what religion you are and consider their relationship with their god to be a personal matter. The other 10% are just annoying as hell, but are not likely to stone you or blow themselves up. Muslim, however, seem to be a different thing altogether.

          If you think something is a sin, (alcohol, for instance) why can't Muslims simply choose to not drink alcohol and leave everyone else alone? The answer, of course, is that it appears the majority thinks everyone must become Muslim. Parts of the Koran specifically say to convert or kill infidels, although other parts say to respect other's beliefs and leave them alone. While most would likely prefer to convert the infidels with words, and only a minority with force, the problem is that they feel they must convert us at all. The idea of "live and let live" just isn't in their vocabulary.

          It is going to take something big to see change or a large amount of time, and frankly, I don't think the rest of the world is going to be patient enough to allow a large amount of time.

          • by elucido (870205) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:36PM (#32401928)

            here's a novel concept: practice your religion as you see fit to the extent that you don't coerce others against their will.

            That would hold true for all religions. Fortunately, about 90% of Christians and 100% of Jews in America don't care what religion you are and consider their relationship with their god to be a personal matter. The other 10% are just annoying as hell, but are not likely to stone you or blow themselves up. Muslim, however, seem to be a different thing altogether.

            If you think something is a sin, (alcohol, for instance) why can't Muslims simply choose to not drink alcohol and leave everyone else alone? The answer, of course, is that it appears the majority thinks everyone must become Muslim. Parts of the Koran specifically say to convert or kill infidels, although other parts say to respect other's beliefs and leave them alone. While most would likely prefer to convert the infidels with words, and only a minority with force, the problem is that they feel they must convert us at all. The idea of "live and let live" just isn't in their vocabulary.

            It is going to take something big to see change or a large amount of time, and frankly, I don't think the rest of the world is going to be patient enough to allow a large amount of time.

            The Christian right is behind the banning of homosexuality. Look it up, Sodomy was a crime. Adultery was a crime. They used the law to make being anything but Christian illegal.

            So no you cannot say these people aren't still trying. They want to ban abortion and gay marriage now.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Pharmboy (216950)

              So no you cannot say these people aren't still trying.

              That is the 10% I spoke of, who are mainly annoying. Meanwhile, gay marriage (and military service) is slowly moving forward, fewer people in the US are christian than ever, sodomy laws were held to be unconstitutional, etc. I didn't say it was paradise, but at least we are moving in the right direction with a little momentum and the majority of Jews and Christians are not trying to convert us all.

              • by EdIII (1114411) on Monday May 31, 2010 @12:33AM (#32403752)

                but at least we are moving in the right direction with a little momentum and the majority of Jews and Christians are not trying to convert us all.

                Conversion is the least of our issues. I quite frankly have no problems with it and see it as an acceptable behavior in society. How can we say it is any different than the man on a soap box in the park telling us about the end times or the Great Squirrel Conspiracy (that's true btw)? As long as it is conducted in public, on public property, between consenting adults the behavior is non-threatening.

                What *is* the problem is punishment . When people use interpretations of their religion to justify vigilante actions against you, outside of society's laws, to punish you for transgressions against their religion, that is extremely concerning. Equally concerning, are the attempts to subvert and pervert the laws of society through so-called political activism to enact non-secular laws in accordance with their religion.

                Thankfully, America and Europe has largely evolved past such behaviors (like the Crusades and the Inquisition), and the people who insist on performing or advocating such actions are marginalized and punished according to the law when they act inappropriately. Society does not condone or encourage *any* of their behavior whatsoever.

                However, America and Europe have enjoyed a period of peace of prosperity that quite frankly has allowed us the luxury of evolving to this state in the first place.

                The Middle East has been without such an environment for a very long long time and is unarguably in the grips of a Dark Age. Groups and people that should be marginalized and punished for their actions are being taken seriously, they are getting their laws enacted, and are proceeding with a culture of punishment of *anybody* that offends their religious sensibilities. Intolerance and violence is breeding more intolerance and violence.

                I don't know what the solution is, but as long as angry violent men control the Middle East we are going to continue experiencing the anguish they bring upon the rest of the world.

                The problem was never Islam or the words of the Quaran. Every other religious text has passages in it, often misconstrued due to a lack of anthropological sophistication required to understand their meanings in their time, but the vast majority of other people practice these religions in the moderation required to integrate into society.

                That's the problem with Islam; The way it is practiced. No moderation and in many situations merely a framework of justifications for violence that these men are predisposed to anyways.

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by mrops (927562)

                  I don't know what the solution is

                  Education. Lots of it, at least two generations worth of education.

                  I grew up in middle east and a local joke goes like this,

                  A sheikh's driver brings his 18 year old son to his Shiekh
                  Driver: Can you get my son a good job.
                  Sheikh: Has he done some kind of formal education?
                  Driver: No, not really, actually he never went to school
                  Sheikh: Is he smart/talented
                  Driver: Yes he is very smart
                  Shiekh: Hmmmm.. that doesn't work out, cause if he wasn't smart, he would be perfect for the local mosque priest.

                • The problem was never Islam or the words of the Quaran. Every other religious text has passages in it, often misconstrued due to a lack of anthropological sophistication required to understand their meanings in their time, but the vast majority of other people practice these religions in the moderation required to integrate into society.

                  This is a bit of a tangent, but I've always strongly disliked this idea of religious moderation.

                  And before I start off on this, let me be perfectly clear: I am vehemently opposed to religious fundamentalists of any sort.

                  But religious moderation has always struck me as intellectually and (if your morals are religiously-grounded) morally dishonest. Saying that some book is the holy word of the God you claim to follow, and then ignoring or interpreting away vast swaths of it so that you can belong to that reli

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by phantomfive (622387)
            A lot of people blame Islam, but really it's more a story of the region being in the dark ages still. They have kings who bring their vassals in line by threatening to kill them, or by killing them when that doesn't work. Look at the relationship between Syria and Lebanon for a clear example. They still have religious purges from time to time, similar to what Europe did in the 1500s.

            In fact it wasn't that long ago we were dragging ourselves into world war over some misguided ideas about patriotism and t
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by GooberToo (74388)

            The answer, of course, is that it appears the majority thinks everyone must become Muslim.

            The real answer for such contradictions is because Islam is learning an incorrect translation of the Qu'ran. That's also why various bits don't make any sense at all and why other parts contradict each other.

            In the valid translation, Islamic martyrs are to be provided 72 grapes - not virgins. The basic tenets of faith appear to be correct but there are huge and never ending errors which permeates all facets of what most of the world calls the Qu'ran. And oddly enough, it explains why every forth or firth (s

        • They never learned (Score:5, Interesting)

          by linumax (910946) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:37PM (#32401942)

          It's time for Islam to learn what Christianity learned hundreds of years ago.

          That never happened. Christianity never learned anything, in fact they lost control as a result of not learning and adapting. They were thrown out of governments for good and lost the power to enforce their ways on the rest of us. Give Christianity back the power they had a in the dark ages and in a decade or two "peaceful" and "tolerant" Christians will be burning heathens on crosses in the name of their lord. If you have any doubts about that keep in mind how with the tiny bit of power left in hands of Vatican they systematically and on a global scale sexually abuse innocent children, silence the victims, protect the culprits and still consider themselves righteous. Then imagine what would happen if church had unlimited powers

          The reason there are relatively few terrorist Christian militias or individual Christian [wikipedia.org] terrorists [wikipedia.org] is fear of harsh repercussions, specifically prosecution by the state. Bring back church to the state and their fears will vanish, then you'll see how hurting Christians' feelings, including you and I's innocent jokes about Jesus would result in "bodily harm".

          tldr; It is Islamic states (or generally religion+state) that are the problem, not Islam per se. For more proof, I was in Iran during the original cartoon controversy. Not a single person knew or cared about the cartoons until state media started blasting them. Not a single grassroots protest happened, not a single gathering, until government sponsored protests (which most people have to attend) started.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @10:27PM (#32402802) Homepage

          . Not everyone is going to adhere to your religion and fighting crusades, jihads, or holding inquisitions won't change that and is not the correct solution.

          And if they (Muslims) win their jihads?

          HINT: the world's Islamic population is increasing substantially, and not solely through birth. Jihad is alive and well in many (most) parts of the world. Social subversion goes a long way towards reaching one's goals when the status quo is one of accepting others' beliefs: it doesn't take much pressure to flip the coin.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by pete6677 (681676)

          This would require fundamentalist Islam to move past the 12th century, which they stubbornly refuse to do. Its sad how Islamic nations once lead the world in innovation and creative thought and then went into a Dark Ages which they have yet to emerge from. When will Islam have their Renaissance?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by the_womble (580291)

          To be fair, its not just Muslims: I live in a country where you can go to jail for insulting the Buddha.

          Its not just religions either: lots of countries have laws against insulting the flag or president, or whatever.

          The basic conflict is over a "right not to be offended" vs a right to free speech. Unfortunately things seem to be drifting (in the West as well) towards peace is more important: we can all have a "harmonious society".

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:17PM (#32401758) Homepage Journal

        That's a bad idea as internet access has a serious western influence on these countries, for better or for worse.

        Not if they're going to block anything that might offend their backward beliefs. And it's not a "western" influence that the internet brings, but an influence that is dangerous for any society, East or West, that seeks to maintain control over the population. At least until corporations have locked down the last dingy corner of the Internet, which might be sooner than you think.

        But let's face it: backward religious beliefs that exploit human desire for meaning are poisoning societies everywhere. Not that mysticism or faith in the supernatural are themselves poisonous, but the minute such beliefs become organized, they are co-opted by people who would pervert them for political purposes.

        Pictures of Mohamed? The leaders of Bangladesh are happy enough to use the Internet to fuel their explosion in high-tech industries and end-user support facilities, but they believe they can keep out anything that's "offensive" to their culture. Little do they know that they're way too late. I'm willing to bet that the first thing a Bangladeshi teenager does when first encountering the Internet is to look up pictures of Mohamed. Right after they look up 2 girls, 1 cup and Hentai.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by matunos (1587263)

      No need. They are unplugging themselves.

    • by masmullin (1479239) <masmullin@gmail.com> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:32PM (#32401412)

      I find your lack of faith.... disturbing!

    • by xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:46PM (#32401518)
      So we punish the citizens for the crimes of their corrupt leaders? Better would be to subvert their leaders and try to give them proper access anyway.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Ever heard the terms "Islamic republic" and "Islamic democracy"?

        They aren't quite the same as the mockery that is communist "people's republic". They are true republics and true democracies - democracies, in which the mob chants, "kill the apostate!" [wikipedia.org].

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151)

      Mockery is the best response to religion. Let them unplug themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mrsquid0 (1335303)

      Like Kansas and Texas?

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:48PM (#32401042)

    "Facebook will be re-opened once we erase the pages that contain the obnoxious images." And how do they propose to do that?

    Either a billion people too immature to handle cartoons are kept off the Internet forever, or every Facebook server on the planet is vaporized in a hail of fast neutrons.

    Call me cynical, but either way, the world ends up a better place.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      ...or every Facebook server on the planet is vaporized in a hail of fast neutrons.

      *Ahem* and when that happens, how do you propose I like things and stalk my classmates? I'm not going back to the Stone Age of actually liking things and using Classmates.com

  • Idiots (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:50PM (#32401056)
    These sick fucks seem completely obsessed with him and his drawings. Isn't the point of this ban to prevent people from idolizing Muhammad?
    • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:53PM (#32401078)

      The point of the ban is to try and force non-muslims to accept Muslim rules.

      • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:15PM (#32401270) Homepage Journal

        The point of the ban is to try and force non-muslims to accept Muslim rules.

        An interesting thought experiment would be to imagine that Muslims must take an oath to renounce Islam(not having to choose another religion, just renouncing Islam) upon immigration to generic, prosperous Western countries. How many would give up a safe and comfortable lifestyle and a good education, for themselves and their families, for the sake of religious self-righteousness?

        Another principle-related thought experiment: Would the number of abortions increase if men were not obligated to pay child support?

        • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Informative)

          by TimSSG (1068536) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:42PM (#32401484)
          You do realize that renouncing being a Muslims means death. Muslims are commanded to kill any adult renouncing of the religion. Tim S.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by JamesP (688957)

        And that's the Religion of peace and understanding, everybody...

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by couchslug (175151)

        "The point of the ban is to try and force non-muslims to accept Muslim rules."

        Precisely. That is really the way most religions work.

      • Re:Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Totenglocke (1291680) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:31PM (#32401908)

        It's scary how many people in Western countries think Muslims are beyond reproach though. I was in an IRC channel a few months back (don't ask me which, I sure as hell don't remember) and I was playing around with different screen names. While doing this, I found out that the names Jesus and God were banned, so a friend suggested I try Allah - that was allowed. After I change it to that, some Muslim starts foaming at the mouth about how he's going to hunt me down and kill me for "insulting" his god merely by making my screen name Allah (despite the fact that I didn't say a single unkind or inappropriate thing while I had that name on). As you would expect, everyone in the room told him to STFU and asked him to stop being an irrational lunatic, right? Wrong, they vilified me and defended the Muslim threatening to kill someone just over a damn screen name.

        The Muslim extremists have already won - politicians are too cowardly to stand up to them because they might lose a few votes and most citizens are afraid to stand up to them because they might be called "mean" or "racist".

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kirijini (214824)

          Wait, let me get this straight:

          You used a religiously sensitive name that caused another person to be offended and react aggressively, and other people agreed that your religiously sensitive name was offensive.

          In comparison, other religiously sensitive names, such as Jesus and God, were banned.

          Therefore, "The Muslim extremists have already won."

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          The Muslim extremists have already won - politicians are too cowardly to stand up to them because they might lose a few votes and most citizens are afraid to stand up to them because they might be called "mean" or "racist".

          It's fairly obvious that it is a rather unstable situation, and it looks like the pendulum is already swinging [swissinfo.ch] the other way.

          Which is unfortunate; I fear that, if PC police will keep the lid shut tight, when the thing finally explodes (and it will, mark my words), it won't just be anti-Islamic - it will also be plainly racist, and quite possibly warring fundamentalist Christian; and violent, with another Kristallnacht and lynchings on the streets. Which would be even worse.

  • I want (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gonoff (88518) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @06:54PM (#32401102)

    everything on the internet that does not agree with my religion removed from the internet.

    Who will I start with...

  • by Narcocide (102829) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:03PM (#32401154) Homepage

    Wow for the first time ever the religious extremists in Pakistan and I completely agree - someone has simply got do delete Facebook.

  • by pizzach (1011925) <<pizzach> <at> <gmail.com>> on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:13PM (#32401244) Homepage
    People don't want all of the content that is on it. It's not just a group of techies, but people from all walks of life. If they thing that images of Muhammad are as bad a child porn, who is to stop them from blocking it? This isn't the old Internet. We aren't living in the wild west anymore. Not everyone's sense of ethics line up.
  • by Orome (159034) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:19PM (#32401298)

    What is nice to see is that there has been a protest against the ban by students and professors

    http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=162813&cid=2

    Unfortunately, this probably doesn't make for as exciting news as yet-another-theocracy-bans-facebook. A search on Google News for "bangladesh facebook" doesn't even throw up this link, and I haven't yet seen any mention of these sensible, logical voices on BBC,CNN etc.

    • by elucido (870205) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:10PM (#32401704)

      Banning burkas is wrong. Banning websites is wrong. Banning ideas, books, clothing, all of this is wrong. I don't think banning does anything other than irritate and piss people off who might have been peaceable before. If you know a group of people like to wear burkas and you ban it, you just pissed them off and it makes them feel like you just banned THEM. The same can be said if you have millions of people who smoke weed legally and suddenly it's banned. It's the same as if this website were banned.

      It's wrong because it fans the flames of hatred against US policy for no real gain politically, culturally, diplomatically, militarily. This accomplishes what?

  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:31PM (#32401406)
    They should start their own social networking site called Burkabook and be done with it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by CRCulver (715279)
      The burka is not part of Bangladeshi culture. Islam can be fairly critiqued on terms that apply to most of the Muslim world, but choosing a custom that is really particular only to Afghanistan and some surrounding areas and making it the symbol of the entire faith just makes one look uneducated.
  • by CompassIIDX (1522813) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @07:38PM (#32401458)
    Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to contact the FBI about some naked cartoon images that might not be of legal age.
  • by stonewolf (234392) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:04PM (#32401640) Homepage

    that islam is having a very hard time dealing with the 16th century. I hate to image what will happen if it/they what ever, it actually comes into contact with the 21st century. Oh, yeah... that was what happened in 9/11/2001 and just a while ago in Times Square.

    The question is which happens first? Either 1) these so called islamic "civizations" learn to accept basic concepts like "human rights" or 2) they finally become a real danger. By real danger I mean they actually set off a nuke in a western city, release a ton of nerve gas, set off a dirty bomb, start the black death 2.0, or do a bunch of little things that just really piss us off. Like say, killing the South Park guys.

    If 1 happens first, then cool. Everyone gets to live. But if 2 happens, what then? Do we keep trying to bottle them up and worrying about whether it is safe to have lunch in the park today? Or, do we just start killing them? I think that is going to be a major test of *our* so called civilization.

    My bet is that our great great grandchildren will be ashamed of what we do. But, I'm also betting that there are going to be very very few great great grandchildren who are raised as moslems.

    IMHO, the belief in absolute truth is the greatest enemy of humanity. The belief in absolute truth is absolute evil.

    Stonewolf

  • by Progman3K (515744) on Sunday May 30, 2010 @08:43PM (#32402014)

    Granted maybe half a million of those are picture of Muhammad Ali, but there are literally millions of images of Muhammad on the Internet...

    Makes you wonder how you could possibly remove them all... Of course you cannot.

    And the more noise made about it, the more images there will be.

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