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Pakistan Blocks Twitter Over 'Blasphemous' Images 226

Diggester writes with this news from the Times of India: "Pakistani authorities on Friday further widened the crackdown on websites with blasphemous contents by restricting access to popular social networking website Twitter. Pakistani users were unable to log into Twitter after internet service providers blocked access to the site." The block was prompted by Twitter's refusal to take down messages promoting a cartoon contest to which the Pakistani government objects for its depictions of Muhammad. This end-run falls right in line with the pessimistic reaction from Reporters Without Borders to the Pakistani court decision calling Internet censorship unconstitutional.
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Pakistan Blocks Twitter Over 'Blasphemous' Images

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  • by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:27AM (#40057135) Journal
    Pakistan blocks yet another place for failing to obey diktats from the stone-age. Maybe they'll just discard everything with origin from the Renaissance onwards.
  • Two issues... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by History's Coming To ( 1059484 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:31AM (#40057157) Journal
    There are two main issues here. The first is the rights of a country to limit internet access in line with their own laws. This could be holocaust denial in Germany, incitement to murder in the UK or copyright infringement in the US, the religion aspect has nothing to do with it (and given that no-images-of-the-prophet-Mohammed is a central tennant of Islam intended to prevent idol worship it's perfectly understandable).

    The second issue is whether it's worth trying to block the offending sites when it's unlikely to be effective and there are pre-existing legal mechanisms. If I was to call for the murder of all members of $ethnicMinority then that's illegal in the UK, so should the UK government's response be to block Slashdot or to prosecute me? I'd argue that the latter is far more effective in every way, whilst protecting the freedoms of other Slashdot users.

    Should I do the same but breaking the rules of another country (eg holocause denial is legal in the UK but not Germany) then it's down to the pre-existing extradition channels.
  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:36AM (#40057181)

    True religion at work.

    Superstition is slavery.

  • Streisand fail? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @11:56AM (#40057297)

    I actually read TFA, hoping to see what, exactly, pissed them off, but apparently Pakistan's not telling.

    Either Pakistan found a way to get around the Streisand Effect (if you just mass-block an entire large site and never say which particulars caused it, it gets no publicity), or they just wanted to censor it and found blasphemy to be a decent excuse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:11PM (#40057377)
    This type of comment reduces complex issues to simple bitter theophobic (yep I just coined a word) rhetoric and it is no better than the folks who force their religious beliefs on other through institutionalized oppression and social shunning.

    Since the beginning of civilization clans and tribes have sought to extinguish each other so that theirs would thrive. In a world of constrained resources this actually makes some evolutionary sense. Now that our clans and tribes are defined as much by structures of belief or schools of thought we've evolved to insisting that everyone believe like us. This is stupid. I'm not a big fan of most religions but to group them all in and call the most extreme acts by them as "true religion" is part of the same evolutionary short circuit that caused the religion to act that way in the first place. If you really want to change things show some tolerance and make reasoned, peaceful, and calm arguments for your school of thought rather than attacking theirs. A little introspection in the world would be a revolutionary thing.
  • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:18PM (#40057417) Homepage

    . . . theophobic (yep I just coined a word) . . .

    No, you didn't. You just discovered a word you had never heard before.

  • by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:32PM (#40057511) Journal
    I don't know of anyone that holds child pornography in such reverence that they will threaten with death anyone who depicts it. False equivalency is false.

  • Re:Free speech? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psyborgue ( 699890 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @12:52PM (#40057637) Homepage Journal
    No. We're allowed to be disgusted, just as Muslims are allowed to be disgusted. What we aren't allowed to do is go rioting through the streets, stabbing people, killing the artists, burning down embassies, and causing actual physical harm to others in retaliation. When was the last time you saw a Jew do that over a holocaust cartoon?
  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @01:41PM (#40057949)

    Superstition is nonsense, unsupported by evidence and therefore deserving NO respect.

    If it's not truth then propagating it is bad, end of story.

    The only people who defend superstition ARE superstitionists. I have no use for the unsupported beliefs of flat-earthers.

    Prove a deity exists and I'll recant then grovellingly kiss his/her/it's Noodly Appendage. Until then, fuck off.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @02:06PM (#40058099)

    Most atheists fall into the disbelief category and have more in common with religious believers than they are willing to recognize.

    I've found the reverse to be true. Atheism covers a pretty broad range. As with religious believers, there'll be plenty of atheists who don't realize how stupid it is to voluntarily assume the burden of evidence. If some guy tells me that he's in personal communication with Grabxil, Supreme Warlord of Venus, then why should I be the one paying for the ticket to visit Venus in order to disprove this guy's existence?

    Of course it also depends on the nature of the God. In internally inconsistent god (all forgiving, yet refuses to forgive certain actions) is not disproven, but certainly cannot reasonably exist. Believers will most likely adopt special pleading or interpret away these inconsistencies. Why does a loving God send us to Hell? Why, he doesn't! We send ourselves there. Why was a loving God such a cunt back in the Old Testament days? Well, it's obviously because the Hebrews were barbaric, and for some reason or other God had to abide by that. Hey, perhaps it's all about free will and stuff? Why does an all loving god permit suffering to exist? Well, that's definitely free will, isn't it? Hey, it's the corruption of the world cause by man. Yep, your child is dying painfully of leukemia because two simpletons a few thousand years ago had a fruity snack, and certainly God couldn't possibly intervene to avoid blaming the innocent for something done by someone else. That's how the stuff goes.

    From personal experiences, it's pointless trying to disprove the existence of gods. One can spend hours debating, running through arguments and "evidence", to end up with the frustrating last ditch defense that it requires faith. Fuck it, why not just say that right from the beginning! You have no evidence, and you believe this because you have faith - fine. Then why waste time with this evidence and these fancy arguments you picked-up from a William Lane Craig book, when they're simply not relevant to why you personally belief this stuff? I can see the value in Jeff Dee's approach of asking people to provide their best argument first. What is it that actually makes them believe in their God - not what is it that they think will convert me?

    Put another way, not believing in God/god(s) is not the same as believing there is/are no God/god(s).

    Not even in the same league. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, yet a lack of evidence is reasonable grounds to assert disbelief. Let's say a guy is claiming that his car can fly. He believes this to be true, and I feel confident in asserting the opposite. He tells me that he can't give me a demonstration because the government radar will detect him. He claims the car has a super secret CIA made engine. I pop the hood and see nothing out of the ordinary. Overall, this appears to be a regular Chevy. Is my disbelief of his flying car the same as his positive beliefs? If not, then why is this any different to a belief in gods?

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @02:15PM (#40058153) Journal

    Really? And just how many conversions have you achieved by being an asshole?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @02:21PM (#40058175)

    Depict MLK as an ape
    See the reaction in the US (and elsewhere).

  • by I(rispee_I(reme ( 310391 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @02:45PM (#40058289) Journal

    I find it instructive to reframe discussions regarding belief in god as discussions regarding belief in unicorns.

    "Not believing in Unicorn/unicorn(s) is not the the same as believing there is/are no Unicorn/unicorn(s)." is thus easily revealed as the semantic niggling that it is. Either there's unicorns or there ain't; if there are, you believe in them.

    Also, Christianity in the U.S. only seems benevolent to the extent that it does because Christianity's become a toothless tiger after 200+ years of secular legislation forcing Christians to treat other human beings like human beings. Christianity, or any other religion, unchecked would be indistinguishable from radical Islam given free rein. The pretense of infallibility leaves no room for civil liberties.

    In keeping with the article's theme, let's all laugh at historical Islamic hubris: 12th century Muslim sultan tries to demolish the Great Pyramids; fails. []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 20, 2012 @02:59PM (#40058361)
    Do Theophobics go catatonic just thinking about Hinduism?
    I'm not afraid of religions, I'm contemptuous of them.
  • by Psyborgue ( 699890 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @03:10PM (#40058439) Homepage Journal
    Minor mistake on the statistics. It's four in ten women in turkey [], not one in four. That's 40% of women. And those who think this is limited to muslims in "those" countries -- sorry. 6 out of 10 Imams in Sweden were recently found to be giving out illegal advice on domestic abuse []. And that's according to Swedish state tv. I don't see why so many in the west insist on shoving their heads in the sand in the name of "tolerance" (as if domestic violence was something that deserved tolerance). If a holy book tells people to do something, there is a pretty good chance they will.
  • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Sunday May 20, 2012 @05:51PM (#40059167)

    Once you understand why you reject all other gods as possible, you will understand why I reject yours.

The wages of sin are high but you get your money's worth.