Friday, 21 May 2010

Draw Day and Blasphemy

Im sure everyone has heard of the uproar in Muslim countries over the Draw Day that was supposed to be on the 20th of May. Advocates of free speech have had sore throats shouting that everyone holds the right to express their opinions.
I agree with them but lets analyze the case a bit further. When I looked at the Draw Day official page on Facebook, the description read, "we are going to draw pictures of Muhammad because it upsets some people." Now take a deep breathe and think, is this freedom of speech. You are expressing yourself, not because you disagree with a particular point of view but, to ridicule a personality which in this case was Holy Prophet PBUH. According to anyone with a tad bit of rationality this cannot be characterized as freedom of expression. A basic requirement of freedom of expression is to make sure you do not ridicule the beliefs of others.
Moreover, this isn't the first time that someone has set out to ridicule Islam. In 2006, the caricature issue was another such incident which enraged the Muslim World.
What was even more amazing was the stubbornness shown by Facebook regarding the Draw Day page. It was against Facebook's policy regarding hate speech. Even then, they did not remove the page knowing that Muslims around the world were not happy.
Under such circumstances, it left the Lahore High Court and PTA no choice but to ban Facebook, in order to register our protest.