Anyone who’s been on Youtube or Facebook or Blogs in general knows that no intelligent conversation can take place between two Internet-commenters. It’s like the paralympics being hosted on the Interwebs. Even if you win, you’re still retarded. During the last fortnight, ever since this unfortunate drawing contest issue caught fire.
I’ve been reading countless accounts of Pakistani Internet users in a variety of rhetoric styles which all sum up to this one thing: ‘they’ are out to get ‘us’ and they have COOKIES! Ok, I’m just joking about the cookies but I can practically hear Mr. Zaid Hamid saying in the most Dumbledore-esque voice: ‘I will only truly have left the Pakistani minds when none here are loyal to me’. Most of the Pakistanis today are channeling the same spirit which can only be likened to a mental patient caught between acute psychosis, paranoia and schizophrenia. The bottomline is, had we paid any attention to the course ‘Introduction to Logic-374’ in college, we would perhaps be aware of how absurd all our comments and arguments are. I will try to counter some in this post:
1. Blasphemy is a BIG deal:
Yes it is a big deal but so is tolerance. You are claiming to be the followers of a Prophet who preached that conquering wrath and anger is perhaps the bravest thing a man could do. I’m not a religious scholar but I’m quite sure that the Prophet who himself went to visit an old woman who used to throw garbage at him, the Prophet who only had well wishes for a city which reduced him to blood and tears when Angel Gabrielle stood at his command to just say the word and Taif would be history -that Prophet would not condone such inflammatory reactions in his name.
2. Facebook is a two-faced Jew! :
Many have commented that Facebook deleted a group created to make fun of the Jewish Holocaust. They accuse Facebook of having double standards. They ask that why an Arab cartoonist who drew cartoons of holocaust had to attend several hearings while those who drew caricatures of the Prophet went scot-free? My answer to them would be that probably ’cause a cartoon of the holocaust mocks ‘a people’ -specifically Jews. It sends a message that Jews should be persecuted for being Jew. It says that violence/genocide inflicted on Jews is humorous in some way. It cannot be equated with caricatures which target just one personality. Why do you expect them to get why we Muslims are so emotional about any depictions of our Prophet when they make fun of their own prophet i.e. Jesus -who by the way, is God for them? There are numerous groups and pages on Facebook that make fun of Jesus/God -Facebook doesn’t delete them either. I’m not saying that making/posting caricatures is OK, obviously as a Muslim I detest it, but I do get how Facebook won’t delete the said pages. Get over it and stop accusing everything that moves as a ‘JEW’!
3. Cause and Effect:
Let’s do a timeline of what happened, I’ll skip the exact details and will stick to the standard terms ‘they’ and ‘us’:
- It all started with an attempt to depict the Prophet in a TV show
- They were censored, they reacted by starting a whole drawing contest
- They wondered if someone would even join their group/page, which was obviously full of hateful content
- Then we reacted by avalanching Facebook with groups and pages demanding its boycott
- We made noise, forwarded the said pages/groups to every-one-we-knew, hence spreading the caricatures in the process
- They were happy for finally getting some attention and the reaction they expected from us
- We commented, updated our statuses, sent text messages etc. with more demands to boycott the pages
- They didn’t even dignify our demands with a response
- We still insisted that Facebook should delete the said pages
- They went fishing and got some good catch for the barbecue. They didn’t really care about us.
- We came out on the streets with banners and play-cards to protest
- They danced into the night, partying hard and drinking some fine fine wine.
- We reported the controversial pages again and again and again.
- They slept off the enormous hangover from the previous night.
- We decided we could no longer take it, so we banned Facebook, Youtube, parts of Wikipedia, flickr, Google.com.pk on and off
- They woke up to find that they were able to get a reaction out of the Pakistani Authorities at a National Level. SCORE!
- They high-fived and decided to throw another party. Thanks to us now everyone in the world knows about the stupid caricature contest.
Just wake up and stop being so reactive! Maybe tomorrow they’ll have some t-shirts in the name of ‘Freedom of Speech’ bearing the same caricatures and we would all be to blame for it because we are the ones who became the wind to their wings. We turned what was just a silly unreasonable contest into a world-wide phenomenon.
4. Good Decision, LHC :
It’s not about ‘Freedom of Speech’: Well, actually it is! I have the right to browse the Internet uninhibited and the LHC or PTA has no right to take it away from me. I say everyone who supports this ban, should have their 1-year log of Internet usage made public -then they’ll cry about ‘Privacy’ and ‘Universal rights of freedom to information’
5. We win, Facebook is banned:
Ummm… not really -they’ve won. They elicited the exact reaction they wanted from us. They got publicity through us and they even got rid of us. Now we can’t even go and make our presence felt on Facebook that we detest these caricatures. We can’t flood the whole Facebook with Hadiths and Duroods and campaigns to honor the Prophet have been silenced. Like every time in history, we have chosen to mute ourselves when it was time to make our voices heard.
Oh and by the way, they still don’t care: Pakistan Follows Facebook Ban With YouTube Ban