The Pakistani government blocked Facebook because of the "Everybody Draw Muhammad" page on the social networking site. Touchy much? Global voices has a round-up of opinion from within Pakistan. Adil Najam at Pakistaniat understands the consequences, to some degree:
I am offended by the idea that page purports and the goals it seeks to achieve. So, why should I dignify it by a visit? Why should I publicize it? Why should I give it the attention it was created to seek. Yet, all of us (now me included, which is why writing this is uncomfortable) are doing exactly that. And that is what pains me.
They simply could not have done this without us. The only people who have turned this from nothingness into a huge issue is us. I am sure that those who set up the page are jumping up and down and thanking us for making their page such a huge success! And that is what pains me.
Judging from tweets I'm reading, and reports like this, the vibe among a relatively wide swath of Pakistani digerati seems to be: all the ambient anti-Muslim sentiment is annoying, but the state censorship is really bad news.
(Image: Activists of Pakistani coalition of Islamic groups, including Jamaat-ud Dawa, torch a US national flag during a protest in Lahore on May 21, 2010, against the published caricatures of Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. Pakistani protesters shouted 'Death to Facebook', 'Death to America' and burnt US flags, venting growing anger over 'sacrilegious' caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on the Internet. A Facebook user organised an 'Everyone Draw Mohammed Day' competition to promote 'freedom of expression', inspired by an American woman cartoonist, but sparked a major backlash in the conservative Muslim country of 170 million. By Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images.)