They shouted “Death to America” they denouncedÂ Israel:Â Â Â “Al-Jihad, Al-Jihad”-
but not to worry: we all know that jihad is peaceful inner struggle, right? And to prove it, we have a case of Donkey Jihad from the Israeli border. We also need to familiarize our children properly about da Jooozzz:Â Egyptian Cleric Sheik Ahmad Al-Johainy: “We Must Get Our Children Accustomed to Hating the Jews”
ISLAMABAD (AFP) â€“Â PakistanÂ on Thursday condemnedÂ caricaturesÂ oftheÂ ProphetÂ Mohammed that appeared onÂ Facebook, blocking thesocial networking siteÂ andÂ YouTubeÂ in a growing backlash over Internet “sacrilege.”
Several thousand activists protested against the drawings and denounced the West in an expression of outrage that sparked comparisons with riots across theÂ Muslim worldÂ in 2006 over drawings published in European newspapers.
The caricatures appeared on Facebook after a private user asked people to submitÂ drawingsÂ ofÂ theÂ ProphetÂ Mohammed in an online competition that sparked fury in conservative Muslim Pakistan.
(See, they are “conservative”, just like our conservatives in the West. Now, if we could only get rid of conservatives the muslims would really love us and we could really get along swell……ed)
The proper spirit:
- Prosecutor in case of human rights activist jailed in Pakistan: “I can’t tolerate to see this blasphemer standing in front of me; I really want to kill him with my own hands”
SwedenÂ said Thursday it had closed its embassy in Islamabad for more than two weeks due to the security situation, refusing to say whether any direct threats had been issued against the mission.
AnÂ Al-QaedaÂ front organisation has offered 100,000 dollars to anyone who killsÂ Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has angered many Muslims by drawing the Prophet with the body of a dog.
“We strongly condemn the publication of blasphemous caricatures of our holy Prophet on Facebook,” foreign ministry spokesmanÂ Abdul BasitÂ told reporters in the capital Islamabad.
“Such malicious and insulting attacks hurt the feelings of Muslims around the world,” he said.
Islam strictly prohibits the depiction of any prophet as blasphemous andÂ MuslimsÂ acrossÂ theÂ globe staged angry protests over the publication of satirical cartoons of Mohammed in European newspapers four years ago.
In 2008, aÂ suicide attackÂ outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad killed eight people. Al-Qaeda claimed the attack to avenge the cartoons.
The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) extended a ban on Facebook, ordered by a court until May 31, to wildly popular video sharing websiteÂ YouTubeÂ and restrictedÂ Wikipedia.
The PTA said it had blocked more than 450 links to derogatory material on the Internet, defending the move “in view of growing sacrilegious content.”
The regulator called on Facebook and YouTube to resolve the matter as soon as possible in a manner that “ensures religious harmony and respect”.
Pakistan also briefly banned YouTube in February 2008 in a similar protest against “blasphemous” cartoons of Mohammed.
Facebook expressed disappointment at being blocked and said it was considering whether to make the offending page inaccessible in Pakistan.
Wahaj us Siraj, a spokesman for theÂ Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan, said blocking Facebook and YouTube would slash up to 25 percent of all Internet traffic in Pakistan.
Around 400 people including about 100 women from the mainÂ Islamic opposition partyÂ Jamaat-e-IslamiÂ staged a rally in Islamabad late Thursday.
Carrying banners that read “Blasphemous act is punishable by death” and “We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the holy Prophet” the protestors chanted slogans before dispersing peacefully, witnesses said.
An earlier rally by the party’s student wing called for a boycott of Facebook. Shouting “Al-Jihad, Al-Jihad” they denouncedÂ IsraelÂ and urged people to lay down their lives for Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
In the eastern city ofÂ Lahore, several thousand people, including members of banned organisation Jamaat-ud Dawa — considered a front for theÂ militant groupÂ blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks — organised five separate rallies.
They chanted “down with America” and called for an end to diplomatic relations withÂ Denmark,Â SwedenÂ andNorway, trampling flags of those countries into the ground as an expression of disgust, an AFP reporter said.
“The Muslim nation should announce aÂ JihadÂ against such blasphemous acts. We should stand up against these conspiracies”, said Afzal Qadri, leader of the Tanzeem Ahle Sunnat party.
In Karachi, about 200 people rallied to condemn the United States, where Facebook is based and branding the makers of “blasphemous caricatures” the “biggest terrorists of the world”, said an AFP reporter.
But the bans also sparked debate about freedom ofÂ expressionÂ inÂ aÂ country with a relatively free media, an estimated two to 2.5 million Facebook users and a sizeable, largely Western-educated elite.
Some intellectuals and members of the elite disapproved of the ban, despite their anger over the caricatures, saying censorship could fanÂ extremismÂ inÂ aÂ country already hit hard by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence.