Bangladesh quashes Facebook over prophet images

Government asks local Internet service providers to temporarily block the site pending removal of a page publicizing "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."

Bangladesh has joined Pakistan in blocking access to Facebook, citing a page on the social-networking site that called on people to draw images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, the Associated Press reported.

Bangladesh's chief telecommunications regulator, Zia Ahmed, told the news agency that the government had asked local Internet service providers to temporarily block Facebook pending removal of a page publicizing "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day."

The page was created after the producers of animated TV series "South Park" said that the Comedy Central network had censored an episode of the show that satirized religious prohibition of images of Muhammad.

On May 19, Pakistan similarly cut off access to Facebook on religious grounds, following a court order. The court is set to review that block on Monday, the AP reported.

Some followers of Islam consider depictions of Muhammad to be blasphemous, and that has led to widely publicized storms of protest over the years. In 2006, a Danish newspaper prompted cries of outrage from some after it published a series of editorial cartoons depicting the prophet, including one that showed him with a bomb tucked in his turban.

 

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