ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan wrote to Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Sunday, in an impassioned appeal to ban the vilification of Islam and Muslims on the social media platform, akin to the Facebook ban on posts that deny the Holocaust, according to a press release.
Earlier on Sunday, Khan had denounced French President Emmanuel Macron’s ‘encouragement of Islamophobia’ in a series of tweets, and said Macron was ‘deliberately provoking’ Muslims.
Khan’s denouncement came in the wake of comments from the French leader last week in which he vowed not to ‘give up cartoons’ depicting the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and stated ‘Islamists want our future.’
“I appreciate your taking the step to rightly ban any posting that criticizes or questions the Holocaust,” Khan wrote to Zuckerberg, his message peppered with examples of recent anti-Muslim laws and statements from the Indian and French governments.
“Given the rampant abuse and vilification of Muslims on social media platforms, I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust.”
On Oct 12., a message from the Vice President of Facebook’s content policy said the social media giant’s hate speech policy had been updated to ban any denials or distortions of the Holocaust-- the mass Nazi pogrom of the Jews of Germany and Europe.
“We have banned more than 250 white supremacist organizations and updated our policies to address militia groups and QAnon. We also routinely ban other individuals and organizations globally, and we took down 22.5 million pieces of hate speech from our platform in the second quarter of this year,” the VP’s message reads on Facebook’s official website.
Facebook’s rules on hate speech, defined as any “direct attack on people” based on characteristics like religion or sexuality, already prohibit Islamophobic content.
“The message of hate must be banned in total-- one cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, they are acceptable against others,” Khan wrote.
“We have seen how marginalization inevitably leads to extremism-- something the world does not need.”