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June 24, 2012

US court jails second man for Revolution Muslim web postings

US court jails second man for Revolution Muslim web postings

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

A promotional poster for Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, which attracted the attention of the convicts.

A US federal court in Virginia has sent a second man to prison for online postings linked to Revolution Muslim. New York Islam convert Jesse Curtis Morton received an eleven-and-a-half-year sentence yesterday after his co-defendant was jailed in February.

Morton, 33, also known as Younus Abdullah Muhammed, wrote alongside fellow convert Zachary Chesser, 20, on a now-defunct website that promoted violence against perceived enemies of Islam. Targets included those behind depictions of the Prophet Muhammed, which are widely held to be offensive to Islamic beliefs.

Morton and Chesser threatened people including the writers of satirical TV show South Park, which had shown Muhammed in a bear suit, and an artist behind May 2010’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day. The duo posted addresses for South Park writers, urging readers to “pay them a visit”.

Virginia-based Chesser admitted his role in court in October 2010 and received a 25-year sentence, with the discrepancy between the pair’s sentences attributed to two attempts by Chesser to head to Somalia and become an al-Shabbab member. Morton was arrested last year in Rabat, Morocco and extradited back to the US, pleading guilty in February.

The defence wanted Morton’s sentence kept below five years, and he had apologised for having “contributed to a clash of civilizations” with his support of violence. The prosecutor contended Morton had abused his right to free speech by threatening murder to “chill” the expressions of others.



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May 23, 2012

Twitter restored in Pakistan after block over Muhammad images

Twitter restored in Pakistan after block over Muhammad images

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

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The Pakistani government has temporarily blocked social networking website Twitter in relation to posts on the site promoting a Facebook contest involving drawings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The block was reportedly lifted after a few hours Sunday.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority chairman Muhammad Yaseen confirmed that the agency had managed to persuade social networking site Facebook to remove the postings from their site but said about Twitter: “We have been negotiating with them until [Saturday night], but they did not agree to remove the stuff, so we had to block it”. During the imposition of the block, Mohammad Younis Khan, a spokesperson for the agency, explained that while Facebook had “agreed to remove the stuff”, Twitter was “not responding to us.” The “blasphemous material” was placed by those organising the competition on Facebook in an attempt “to hurt Muslim feelings”, according to Khan, who confirmed Sunday Twitter service had “been restored” on the orders given to the agency, although he did not know of any reason why this order had been made.

Facebook has confirmed that material on its website had been made unavailable in Pakistan at the request of authorities, with a spokesperson for the website explaining: “Out of respect for local laws, traditions and cultures, we may occasionally restrict [certain content’s] visibility in the countries where it is illegal, as we have done in this case”. Twitter has not made any comment other than to clarify that no modifications or removals of content occurred to ensure the site’s restoration.

Human rights organisation Human Rights Watch’s Pakistan director Ali Dayan Hasan condemned the Twitter block as “ill-advised, counter-productive and will ultimately prove to be futile as all such attempts at censorship have proved to be”, while former United States Department of State spokesperson Philip J. Crowley described the decision as “another sign of the civilian government’s weakness”.

This incident bears resemblance to one which occurred two years ago Saturday, when a court order blocked Facebook in the country for around two weeks due to a page on the site, called “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day“, asking users to upload caricatures of Muhammad. In the Islam faith, depicting any prophet is prohibited as it is regarded as blasphemy.



Related news

  • “YouTube, Facebook blocked in Pakistan” — Wikinews, May 20, 2010

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May 20, 2010

YouTube, Facebook blocked in Pakistan

YouTube, Facebook blocked in Pakistan – Wikinews, the free news source

YouTube, Facebook blocked in Pakistan

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

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Pakistan
Other stories from Pakistan
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Location of Pakistan

A map showing the location of Pakistan

To write, edit, start or view other articles on Pakistan, see the Pakistan Portal
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The Pakistani government has blocked access to YouTube, the popular video-sharing website, citing “growing sacrilegious” content. The move comes after a Pakistani court ordered a temporary block of social networking site Facebook on Wednesday, when a row unfolded concerning a group on Facebook urging users on the popular social networking site to draw pictures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the government agency responsible for the operation and maintenance of Pakistani telecommunications, ordered all internet service providers to “completely shut-down” all access to Facebook and YouTube from the interior of Pakistan. According to a spokesman, the agency only did so after “all possible” options had been exhausted.

The spokesman, Khoram Ali Mehran, said that they were “just following the government’s instructions and the ruling of the Lahore High Court”, and that “if the government decides to unblock it, then that’s what we will do”.

The Facebook user who created the group, entitled “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”, said that she had got the idea for the group after watching an episode of South Park on the television channel Comedy Central, in which a line involving the Prophet had been ‘bleeped out’. The site was blocked the day before the event was scheduled to take place.

YouTube was blocked in Pakistan in 2008, when material deemed “offensive to Muslims” led to restrictions. Access to Wikipedia, Wikinews’ sister project, and Flickr, a photo sharing site, were also banned, on Thursday.

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