Bangladesh, following in the steps of Pakistan, has banned Facebook due to photos of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed according to the Associated Press. The news comes a little over a week after Pakistan banned Facebook over a group titled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”.
According to the AFP, “Facebook [will] be re-opened once Bangladesh [has] permanently blocked the offending pages.”. Whether or not the country expects Facebook to shut down the Pages is unknown, but it’s pretty clear that the groups have sparked a massive backlash among countries which have large Muslim populations.
Not only is the country going to block the offending groups but they’ve already arrested one individual who posted photos for “spreading malice”. The move follows street protests among Bangladeshis who are speaking out againsts what they consider to be “anti-Islamic propaganda”.
One protester who was quoted by the AFP stated that, “Drawing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed is an attack on Islam and is extremely humiliating for Islam”. So far, Facebook has refrained from censoring any of these groups on the grounds of freedom of speech, and that the groups don’t technically violate any of Facebook’s terms.
There are clearly a large number of people who are distraught over the matter however. The impact of these groups have been so substantial that two governments have now banned Facebook. Whether or not such a response was the intention of the group’s creator, it’s clear that the impact has been widespread.