Facebook banned in Pakistan

Pakistani students hold a banner as they shout slogans during a protest against Facebook in Lahore May 19, 2010.

LAHORE, PAKISTAN—Pakistan’s government ordered Internet service providers to block Facebook on Wednesday amid anger over a page that encourages users to post images of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

The page on the social networking site has generated criticism in Pakistan and elsewhere because Islam prohibits any images of the prophet. The government took action after a group of Islamic lawyers won a court order Wednesday requiring officials to block Facebook until May 31.

By Wednesday evening, access to the site was sporadic, apparently because Internet providers were implementing the order.

The Facebook page at the centre of the dispute — “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!” — encourages users to post images of the prophet on May 20 to protest threats made by a radical Muslim group against the creators of “South Park” for depicting Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode earlier this year.

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