The Politics of “Blasphemy” – Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia Over “Sacrilegious” Content

Censorship is increasing again in Pakistan. Media outlets are reporting that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has banned Wikipedia for hosting “sacrilegious” content that it deems to be “blasphemous.”

In previous years, the PTA has blocked social media entities like Facebook and YouTube for similar reasons.

Pakistan’s war on knowledge is a personal one for me.

Several years ago, WordPress sent me several emails explaining that the PTA had sent them multiple requests to delete two blog posts on craigconsidinetcd.com. One of these posts focused on the U.S. Supreme Court honoring Prophet Muhammad as one of the greatest lawgivers in history.

The PTA apparently took issue with the fact that the post included a picture of the marble frieze of Muhammad.

The other post concerned itself with a meeting I had with His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. The Pakistani government deems Ahmadi Muslims to be “non-Muslims.”

Ahmadis are persecuted in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world. The PTA seemingly took issue with the fact that I referred to His Holiness as a Muslim.

To my knowledge, Wikipedia did not accept the PTA’s request.

The PTA should immediately restore access to Wikipedia, the largest free repository of knowledge in the world. The Pakistani state should also reexamine its infamous blasphemy laws for the sake of freedom and liberty, two quintessential human rights.


2 thoughts on “The Politics of “Blasphemy” – Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia Over “Sacrilegious” Content

  1. Sorry to say but using the words “His holiness” for a self proclaimed preacher Mirza Masroor while disprespecting our Prophet’s name, can sound good for you but not for us. When US govt can even declare him to be the best lawgiver in the world you should also respect while quoting his name, i means we call him with the name Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. That was my complaint. Rest i am not siding with my govt on the issue of blocking wikipedia as it is like closing the doors of knowledge on us and they (Pakistan Govt) later restored the ban on wikipedia following public backlash. Thanks Sir


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