Next time you are visiting Pakistan, be sure to watch what you are texting on your cell phone. For example, if you tried to send the following message “Don’t forget to lock the back door and pick up my Athlete’s Foot powder. Thx” you’d soon discover your message had been intercepted and blocked under order of the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) who have reportedly instructed all Pakistan’s mobile phone companies to block messages containing “obscene” words.
A letter dated 14 November, apparently written by Muhammad Talib Doger, an official at the PTA, has been leaked to Pakistani media.
It states that mobile phone operators should begin screening the words, provided on a list attached to the letter, within seven days.
"We have received both the dictionary and the memo and we're discussing a way forward," said Anjum Nida Rahman, corporate communications director for Telenor Pakistan.
Some of the choices on the list have baffled Pakistani mobile phone users, many of whom have taken to Twitter to ridicule the move. Syed Adnan Yousuf, tweeting as @AdnanWhy, asked: "Why is 'head lights' banned? What am I missing here?"
Some people have suggested bypassing the ban by replacing words with their number on the PTA's list.
Here’s a partial list of the alleged “obscene” words list:
- Athlete's foot
- Jesus Christ
- Monkey crotch
- Back door
- Bewaquf (foolish)
- Bakwaas (nonsense)
- Wuutang (a presumed reference to American rap group the Wu-Tang Clan)
Wouldn’t it have been fun to be a fly on the wall when the geniuses at the PTA sat down and came up with this list?
This is Mohammadi’s second arrest. The first was in 2009 as she laid a wreath on the grave of Neda Ahga-Soltan, a young woman who was shot while peacefully protesting the reelection of Ahmadinejad.
Maryam Majd, a campaigner for rights for women in Iran was also arrested on Friday, and is being held in Evin prison.
While the Islamic Republic flaunts its missiles to the world, it continues to perpetrate human rights violations against its own citizens.
Bhatti, the Minister of Minorities, in a country which is 95% Muslim, was also murdered as a result of his disagreement with the Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which includes the death penalty for those who speak negatively of the Prophet Muhammad.
This incident raises questions about how strongly the government of Pakistan is working against Islamic extremism…
After social media successfully helped bring about revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the repressive regime of Algerian President Abdelaziz Boutifleka shut down internet and deleted Facebook accounts across the country.
Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators were arrested, with 30,000 riot police in the streets of Algiers alone.
The rally also supported last week’s assassination of in Islamabad, by his own security guard, who opposed Taseer’s criticism of Pakistan’s blasphemy law.
Death fatwas have been issued against other officials who dared criticize the law. In the past decade, 35 people in Pakistan who were accused of blasphemy or opposed the laws in any way were murdered in extra-judicial killings.
A Muslim doctor in Pakistan was arrested yesterday on suspicion of violating blashpemy laws, for throwing away a business card of a man with the same name as the prophet Muhammad.
This is another example of Pakistan's scary implementation of blasphemy and sharia law.
Sounds like a good job networking tip though - change your name to Muhammad, no one will throw away you business card...
Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of 5, was accused of “insulting Islam” and “defaming the Prophet Mohammed”. She has been in Pakistani prison since last June, and earlier this month, was sentenced to death by hanging for a crime she very likely never committed.
Asia is being persecuted for her religious beliefs in a place where Christians face daily harassment and intolerance. Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, in particular, are often used to persecute religious minorities.
Help save the life of Asia Bibi and fight back against Pakistan’s discriminatory blasphemy law!