Imran Khan writes to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seeks ban on Islamophobic content on platform

This letter comes on the same day that Imran accused French president Emmanuel Macron of 'attacking Islam' after the European leader criticised Islamists and defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

FP Staff October 26, 2020 00:26:40 IST
Imran Khan writes to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seeks ban on Islamophobic content on platform

File image of Imran Khan. AP

Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting that the social media firm ban Islamophobic content.

Imran, in the letter, sought a ban on Islamophobic content on the platform similar to that in place for the Holocaust.

“I am writing to draw your attention to the growing Islamophobia that is encouraging hate, extremism and violence across the world and especially through the use of social media platforms including Facebook," the letter began.

Imran further said that he appreciates Zuckerberg's step to "rightly ban any posting that criticises or questions the Holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews in Germany and across Europe". He added that the world is witnessing a similar pogrom against Muslims.

"Unfortunately, in some states, Muslims are being denied their citizenship rights and their democratic personal choices from dress to worship," Imran further wrote.

This letter comes on the same day that Imran accused French president Emmanuel Macron of "attacking Islam" after the European leader criticised Islamists and defended the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed.

Imran's letter and comments come after Macron last week, after a French teacher was beheaded near Paris after he had shown cartoons of the Prophet during a class he was leading on free speech, said he "was killed because Islamists want our future."

In a series of tweets, Imran earlier Sunday said Macron's remarks would sow division.

"This is a time when Pres Macron could have put healing touch & denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarisation & marginalisation that inevitably leads to radicalisation,"  Imran wrote.

"It is unfortunate that he has chosen to encourage Islamophobia by attacking Islam rather than the terrorists who carry out violence, be it Muslims, White Supremacists or Nazi ideologists."

Facebook on 13 October said it was updating its hate speech policy to ban any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.

This reversal came two years after Zuckerberg, in a 2018 interview with tech website Recode, said he did not think Facebook ought to delete such content though he found Holocaust denial "deeply offensive."

With inputs from agencies

 

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