Pakistan issues notices to Google, Wikipedia over ‘sacrilegious’ content
Islamabad, Dec 25 (efe-epa).- Pakistan’s telecommunications regulator on Friday issued notices to Google Inc. and Wikipedia for allegedly disseminating sacrilegious content on the internet.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said in a statement that if the tech two tech firms did not take necessary measures, further action would be initiated against them under the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2016 and Rules 2020.
PTA said it has received several complaints about misleading search results concerning a religious leader and an unauthentic version of the Quran uploaded by the religious minority Ahmadi community on the Google Play Store.
The PTA’s notice has directed Google Inc. to immediately remove what it has decribed as “unlawful content” given that the matter was of a very “serious nature”.
According to the statement, Google was asked to take down the relevant content under the Removal and Blocking of Unlawful Online Content Rules 2020 in order to avoid any further legal action by the regulator.
PTA said it also received complaints regarding hosting of caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad and the dissemination of “misleading, wrong, deceptive and deceitful” information through articles published on Wikipedia that portraying Ahmadi leader Mirza Masroor Ahmed as a Muslim.
According to Ahmadi community spokesperson Saleem ud Din, Masroor is their current leader and the fifth one overall.
PTA said it also served a notice to Wikipedia to remove the ‘sacrilegious content’ to avoid a legal action.
The Pakistani Ahmadis are a Muslim sect founded in the 19th century in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, whom they consider a prophet, which clashes with the Islamic belief of Muhammad as the last messenger of God.
This minority community are seen as blasphemers by the orthodox Muslim groups and have long been victims of religious persecution.
As per the country’s penal code, they are prohibited from “impersonating Muslims”, calling their places of worship mosques or selling texts of their sect, which could lead to penalties of up to three years. They are even forbidden from using the typical Muslim greeting “assalamu alaikum”.
Official government documents, such as passports, mention them solely as Ahmadis. EFE-EPA