An edited version of this first Appeared on the Dawn Blog
Dear Mr. Rehman Malik,
I hope you are doing well, since the last time I saw you, you appeared to be quite upset and determined to increase security for government officials (never mind that Governor Taseer was shot dead by his own guard from the ‘elite force’). Not to take too much of your time, as you must be busy processing innumerable intelligence reports of possible terror attacks across the country, let me jump to the point.
I recently found out that you have decided to take action (aka, block, ban and forget) against blasphemous content on the internet.
Let me take this opportunity to tell you that I am extremely delighted at this announcement.
In fact, I am so overwhelmed by the idea that I have decided to write this letter of appreciation and to help you filter content (that needs to be censored immediately).Let me first define blasphemy (since confusion is rampant) and allow me to restate this: nothing would disappoint the Prophet (PBUH) more than violence being justified in his name; nothing is more blasphemous than using Islam as a tool to justify violence.
Therefore Mr. Malik, the following recommendations have been made in this light.
Ansar-Al-Mujahideen: The possibilities with this one are endless, from videos, forums to press releases for ‘Mujahideen,” this one has it all. Must read the newest thread titled, “claiming responsibility for kidnapping two French citizens and exposing the stupidity of the French.” I rest my case.
Haq Chal Yaar: The website promotes hate speech against Shias and the Ahmadis. It also goes on to claim (http://www.kr-hcy.com/shia/kufr.shtml) that Shias are non-Muslims, urging people to fight the Shia Fitna. The forum concludes that anyone who disagrees with them “has to suffer with the words of Kafir/Infidel.” In the presence of muftis and a federal Shariah court this should at least qualify for contempt of court if not blasphemy.
Muslaman Bachay: A magazine run by Jaish-e-Muhammad (a banned outfit). The site features an art gallery with drawings from children. Different from your usual drawings, these are portraits of suicide bombers, guns, swords and such. You get my point, don’t you?
These are just few examples of terrorist websites that perpetuate hate, discrimination and promote violence, that are accessible throughout Pakistan. To be more accurate, according to the 2006 statistics there around 4,500 extremist websites, most of which are accessible in Pakistan.
Porn: A simple Google search is self-explanatory.The wide world of porn is accessible throughout Pakistan, which ofcourse includes Child Porn etc.
Please note that since May 2010, over 1,2000 websites have been blocked, without any prior warning or an explanation or notice regarding the duration of the ban. This appears to be an honest mistake, because child porn and terrorist websites continue to be accessible throughout Pakistan (blasphemy of the utmost level). I hope that you will take notice and assure a crackdown on all sites mentioned above. After all, this is Islamic Republic of Pakistan and we must ensure that even our virtual world is secure from all forms of blasphemous content.
Last, but not the least, since you are well-known for making honest mistakes please avoid us all the embarrassment and not block Facebook, YouTube and Twitter this time around? After all, they have already proven their piety in front of the Lahore High Court.
I will now leave you to carry out the noble cause. Hope to see you soon, hopefully tweeting back at us.
Defenders of Internet Freedom.