Pakistan Blocks Facebook Over Prophet Pics Contest

Pakistan has banned Facebook from today after a nationwide outrage over a competition launched by members of the social networking website that incites people to submit drawings of the Prophet Muhammad.

Illustrations of the Prophet are deemed illegal by followers of the faith and some of the pictures that have been published on the site depicted the Prophet in rather unholy situation and/or positions.

Legal papers served by a Pakistani court to the country's government following a petition submitted by the Islamic Lawyers Forum, want the site to be blocked until the end of 31st of May.

According to the Times, Azhar Siddique, a spokesperson for the organisation said that "The court has also ordered the foreign ministry to investigate why such a competition is being held".

At the time of writing, the site had attracted more than 4800 users with nearly 200 photos uploaded. As expected, several groups - totalling more than 20,000 users - have emerged asking to ignore the group "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day".

A number of other pages have been created calling for Muslim users to boycott Facebook altogether on the 20th of May 2010, the day when Facebook users are encouraged to send their drawings.