Facebook was sucked into a growing row over Islam and freedom of speech yesterday after a Pakistani court ordered the site to be blocked over a page advertising a contest to draw cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
Creators of the ‘Everyone Draw Mohammed Day’ page, which invites users to send in caricatures, said that it was a response to Muslim bloggers who threatened people involved with the television show South Park for depicting the prophet in a bear suit.
The competition has infuriated many Muslims, especially in Pakistan, reigniting a debate sparked by cartoons of the prophet published in Danish newspapers in 2005.
The Lahore High Court, describing the drawing contest as a “blasphemous competition”, ordered the government to block the site until May 31 after which it said that it would consider taking further action.
A Facebook spokeswoman said: “The matter has come to our attention and we're looking into it.”