On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote a letter to CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, asking to place a ban on Islamophobic content and hate against Islam similar to the one that has been put 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. I appreciate your taking the step to rightly ban any posting that criticizes or questions the Holocaust, which was the culmination of the Nazi pogrom of the Jews in Germany and across Europe as Nazis spread across Europe.”
Facebook recently announced it will remove all content on its platform that “denies or distorts the Holocaust” after the social media giant refused to regulate it for years in an “effort to uphold free speech on the platform”.
Imran Khan appreciated the recent expansion of their hate speech policies of not giving the space to such hateful content, and asked to respond similarly towards Islamophobic content on Facebook.
He wrote, “However, today we are seeing a similar pogrom against Muslims in different parts of the world. Unfortunately, in some states, Muslims are being denied their citizenship rights and their democratic personal choices from dress to worship. In India, anti-Muslim laws and measures such as CAA and NRC as well as targeted killings of Muslims and blaming Muslims for Corona virus are reflective of the abominable phenomenon of Islamophobia.”
He also referred to the association of terrorism with Muslims and Islamophobic cartoons in France and said, “In France, Islam has been associated with terrorism and publication of blasphemous cartoons targeting Islam and our Holy Prophet (PBUH) has been allowed. This will lead to further polarization and marginalization of Muslims in France. How will the French distinguish between radical extremist Muslim citizens and the mainstream Muslim citizenry of Islam? We have seen how marginalization inevitably leads to extremism – something the world does not need.”
Prime Minister highlighted “the rampant abuse and vilification of Muslims on social media platforms” and demanded that “the message of hate must be banned in total – one cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others.”
He added that “nor should the world have to wait for a pogrom against Muslims, which is ongoing in countries like India and in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, to be completed before Islamophobia is banned. This in itself is reflective of prejudice and bias that will encourage further radicalization.”