Mufti Muneeb calls for controlling social media, another Eid holiday
Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman on Wednesday called for controlling social media, saying some internal and external forces wanted to promote sectarianism in the country through social media.
Addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club along with religious leaders from Darul Uloom Amjadia, Muneeb said Pakistan could not afford sectarianism and demanded the state security institutions to pay attention to the issue. Social media had become a circus, he added.
Mufti Muneeb – who is the head of Ahle Sunnah Wal Jamaat – said there was no contradiction between science and religious leaders. “There is a need now to control those spreading divisive material on social media,” he noted.
He also called for announcing another holiday on the occasion of Eidul Azha which, he added, a three-day-long festival.
On the occasion, he also criticised the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and said August 5 would mark the completion of one year of Indian repression in Occupied Kashmir but the international body had not even held a single conference on the issue.
Mufti Muneeb announced that they would organise a rally on August 5 as an expression of solidarity with the Kashmiris and urged the people to ensure their participation in the event.
The demand to impose curbs on social media came as the Turkish parliament on Wednesday passed a controversial new law regulating social media to comply with any demands by the government to block or remove content.
Under the new law, social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have to ensure they have local representatives in Turkey and to comply with court orders over the removal of certain content or face heavy fines.
The legislation targets social networks with more than a million unique visits every day and says servers with Turkish users' data must be stored locally.
If companies refuse to comply, they will face fines and restriction of bandwidth making the platform unusable.
The bill was submitted by the ruling AKP and its nationalist partner the MHP, which have a majority in the parliament, and passed after debates beginning on Tuesday and lasting into Wednesday.
After the night-long debate, the parliament went into summer recess till October.
Human rights groups and the opposition are worried over what they call the erosion of freedom of expression in Turkey, with thousands of people subject to criminal proceedings for "insulting" President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media.