Pakistan Adds YouTube to Media Ban Over 'Sacrilegious' Content

Popular video sharing website YouTube joins Facebook as sites that have been banned in Pakistan for featuring "sacrilegious content."

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) blocked access to YouTube on Thursday just a day after it closed down Facebook for promoting an "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" online contest. Islam considers any depictions of Muhammad as blasphemy.

While PTA didn't mention which videos on YouTube were particularly offensive, they said that "blasphemous content kept appearing so we ordered a total shut down," according to BBC.

YouTube says they now are looking into the matter and hope to get service restored.

Meanwhile, protests against the Facebook were held in several Pakistani cities.

"We welcome the decision of the courts in banning the site and will make every sacrifice to implement the verdict," politician Ghafoor Ahmed said during a demonstration, according to

Other political and religious leaders have also criticized the Facebook contest, including Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit, who called the event a "malicious and insulting" attack that "hurt[s] the sentiments of Muslims around the world and cannot be accepted under the garb of freedom of expression."

Catholic official Fr. Nadeem J. Shakir told that, "The West fails to understand the religious sensitivities of the East. We have already seen the impact of blasphemous caricatures on minority Christians, and the current unrest may lead to another controversial issue between Christians and Muslims."

Similar controversies in Pakistan erupted in 2005 and 2006 over depictions of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper.

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