Protesters in Pakistan are outraged by what they feel is a direct attack against their religion. In the Muslim world, it is sacrilegious to display the image of the Prophet Mohammed. Many free speech advocates, however, feel that there is a need to do it just to prove the value of free speech. One such person created a Facebook event and group entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day!" which was this past Thursday.
Clearly, this is a controversial move and one that members of the Muslim world do not appreciate. At these protests, there have been chants of "Death to Facebook" and "Death to America," though the protests themselves have been mostly peaceful. As a result, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has blocked access to Facebook, YouTube and a collection of more than 450 other sites that have been deemed to be in conjunction.
The Facebook group has, at present, over 110,000 followers and more than 12,000 fan photos have been posted to the group. Other similar groups have also been started, each with many followers and fan photos of their own. On the flip side, there have been a number of protest groups also started on Facebook, each having more members than the original group.
Facebook spokespeople have expressed their disappointment at the blockage and have suggested blocking the offending pages themselves in Pakistan and other countries who take offense to the content. Google spokespeople have said that they are "working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible."
The creator of the group, known only as Andy in an interview with MSNBC said, "We know that the fight for freedom of expression, freedom of speech can't be stopped by a country like Pakistan censoring the Internet."