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Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive officer. — Reuters/File
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive officer. — Reuters/File

A day after 12 people were shot dead in a bloodbath at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, a weekly that lampooned Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg in a status update said that “an extremist in Pakistan” had fought to have him sentenced to death.

“A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Muhammad that offended him,” Zuckerberg said in a status update on the social-networking website.

Expanding on why Facebook refused to censor content about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Zuckerberg said: “We stood up for this because different voices — even if they're sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.”

The Facebook CEO added that the social-networking portal followed the laws “in each country”, adding that it “never lets one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world”.

“Yet as I reflect on yesterday's attack and my own experience with extremism, this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world,” Zuckerberg said.

“I won't let that happen on Facebook. I'm committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence.”

Explore | Fanaticism: From Peshawar to Paris

“My thoughts are with the victims, their families, the people of France and the people all over the world who choose to share their views and ideas, even when that takes courage,” Zuckerberg said.

Zuckerberg’s status update drew a flurry of responses, including one from a user Umar Khan hailing from Pakistan.

"Mark, being a Pakistani I do appreciate your thoughts but I'd like to clear one thing here, not all the "Pakistani" possess similar mindset & you can't just blame the whole nation on the basis of one person's act. As far as the religious material on Facebook is concerned, I think you're doing a great job in reviewing every application against particular pages/material."

Responding to which, Zuckerberg said: "You're right. I am friends with several Pakistanis, and I know most Pakistanis are not like the person who tried to have me sentenced to death!"

Victims from Wednesday’s attack in the quiet Parisian neighbourhood included four prominent cartoonists, among them editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, Stephane Charbonnier, who had lived under police protection for years after receiving death threats.

Charbonnier was holding a morning meeting when the assailants armed with Kalashnikovs burst in and opened fire. The three other cartoonists who died were Jean Cabut, Georges Wolinski and Bernard Verlhac.

More on this: Paris attack


Comments (104) Closed



Akbaruddin Jan 09, 2015 04:06pm

The whole modern world has divided itself into Ultra Conservatives and Progressives and with every passing day the line which divides both is becoming more and more prominent.

Rizwan Jan 09, 2015 04:07pm

dont try this way to get fame, you are already famous.

Amin Ansari Jan 09, 2015 04:10pm

Umar you did a great job standing up for Pakistan. Mark, thank you for correcting your earlier statement. Pakistan is at the forefront of the war against the mindset that we saw in Paris. It needs worlds support and help. No we will not buckle down against such crazy and coward folks. Even if we have to fight all by ourself.

Zubair Ahmad Jan 09, 2015 04:11pm

Then why does facebook removes material agaisnt Jews - Calling it offensive to their feelings ?

Gaurav Arya Jan 09, 2015 04:21pm

@Zubair Ahmad - Facebook does not remove material against Jews. Please don't spread conspiracy theories. There are so many anti-Jew Facebook pages from the Muslim world. Kindly check your facts. You are trying to imply that there is some conspiracy against Muslims.

Asim Iqbal Jan 09, 2015 04:26pm

@Zubair Ahmad a very good question..

Asim Jan 09, 2015 04:27pm

zubair: because Mark is jew himself.

Tahir A Jan 09, 2015 04:28pm

Whilst globalization has made the world a small place, people like Zuckerberg and Rushdie must understand there is sensitive divide between the West and the South East Asia in cultural and religious values.

On one hand according to Zuckerberg even if they're sometimes offensive it can make the world a better and more interesting place is a highly subjective view. On the other hand, a religious radical would promote his stance as a forceful effort in making the world a sinless place by vigorously practising religion and following the holy books in every walk of life. To some this is also contentious, undesirable and cannot be imposed with violence.

mviewer Jan 09, 2015 04:30pm

Here comes the real face of FACEBOOK creator.

Ahmad Jan 09, 2015 04:38pm

Why if took him Years to bring this up. Why he was quite at the massacre of 150 kids in Peshawar ? Should have expressed some feelings!!!

Ali Jan 09, 2015 04:41pm

Im deleting my account on Facebook. i dont need it. Because i know they remove stuff against jews. and it is forbidden to discuss holocast. andin europe also. if we talk, people can go to jail. And insulting last prophet is okay. This is not right

yasir Jan 09, 2015 04:44pm

talking of freedom of speech, can any dare to speak against holocaust in westrn world...i doupt

Z Khan Jan 09, 2015 04:49pm

Pakistan shall use all legal means and channels to remove any offensive material on prophet Mohammed (PBUH) from social media websites including facebook and youtube. The best course of action is outline policy and make an agreement with them.

imran Jan 09, 2015 04:51pm

@Zubair Ahmad you can find a lot of material against jews as well

wick Jan 09, 2015 05:03pm

Then why facebook deletes holocaust posts the moment i post?

Akbaruddin Jan 09, 2015 05:03pm

Read comments on Facebook page of Mark Zuckerberg, you will know what world thinks about Pakistan.

Mohammed Jan 09, 2015 05:04pm

Where is your principle of freedom of speech when it comes to so-called 'anti-semetism' on Facebook? Double standards? Hypocrisy much? Shalom, Mark. Next you will want compensation and a free kebab because it brought up latent fears and anxieties of the Holloco$$t. Just exercising MY freedom of speech. Thank you.

imran Jan 09, 2015 05:09pm

@Ahmad The question should be: How many among us have expressed some feelings?

Nauman Jan 09, 2015 05:12pm

Dare to make a page on FB titled "I support holocaust" and see the freedom of speech being murdered in hours

Realist Jan 09, 2015 05:26pm

As a public figure you may receive millions of messages, one of which may be from a crazy psycho, that doesnt mean you use it to prove a stereotype at such a juncture.

Jor El Jan 09, 2015 05:41pm

@Zubair Ahmad Pleeeaaaasseee ... This is old nonsense ... FB administration has never done so ... As an FB employee, I can say that with a lot of confidence ...

ALi Jan 09, 2015 05:56pm

So being offensive makes world a better and interesting place. That's new. Here I thought peace and respect is important.

Moona Jan 09, 2015 06:51pm

"[D]ifferent voices — even if they're sometimes offensive — can make the world a better and more interesting place.” How exactly? How does causing offence make the world better or more interesting? It creates hatred and division. But Zuckerberg is nothing if not crafty.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 06:54pm

You can't make a place interesting by hurting others' feelings. Talk about holocaust if you are so courageous.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 06:55pm

@Zubair Ahmad

That needs courage to do.

someone Jan 09, 2015 06:56pm

@wick anyone who supports holocaust is insane.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 06:57pm

@Ahmad

The kids in Peshawar were Muslims.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 06:59pm

@Ali

A lesson for those who have Facebook accounts.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 07:03pm

@wick

Good question.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 07:04pm

@Mohammed

Well said.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 07:07pm

@Jor El

You want us to believe?

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 07:10pm

@ALi

They can do anything for expansion of their business. They have no regard for others' sentiments.

Thinking Indian Jan 09, 2015 07:41pm

Many comments criticizing Zuckerman's views & showing their ignorance about freedom of speech in civilized world. Any view ( including criticism of religion through satire) should be allowed (& countered /protested peacefully/ if necessary) provided it does not justify violence, does not use obscene language, does not promote hatred against any group. Holocaust can also be discussed if it meets this criteria.

Malik Jan 09, 2015 07:49pm

One reason, I closed my account with Facebook!

kp Jan 09, 2015 08:00pm

Facebook does not ban anti-jewish material. if you dont believe me, you are free to create your own page as an experiment. dont believe rumours.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 08:02pm

@kp

More business.

Merchant Jan 09, 2015 08:04pm

@Akbaruddin I would rephrase it as "what the world has been made to feel about Pakistan" which is terribly disappointing considering Pakistan has been the most targeted democracy by terrorists of all sorts.

Riaz Jan 09, 2015 08:05pm

@someone

Can you please tell me what is holocaust and why isn't it allowed to talk about it?

Sandeep Singh Jan 09, 2015 08:30pm

@Tahir A You can preserve your conservativity, lets not teach them what to do or what not.

Saj king khan Jan 09, 2015 08:33pm

Just quit face book I have deleted my account years ago !! But violence is not the answer, Islam it self is a religion of peace . Please educate the illiterate we are all human

Akashvani Jan 09, 2015 08:50pm

@Zubair Ahmad mark zukrrberg is a jew!!

anony Jan 09, 2015 09:35pm

Facebook will readily censor and remove objectionable stuff if its related to the jews though. Such hypocracy.

Amad Jan 09, 2015 10:44pm

Then why are pages making fun of jews and holocaust removed immediately? Where is freedom of speech? A typical hypocrite!

indian Jan 09, 2015 10:55pm

“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”

mohammad Jan 09, 2015 11:09pm

This is looking for people to call him GREAT. Very very stupid.

abz Jan 09, 2015 11:14pm

However, on the contrary Mark, Facebook and anyone in the world has different say and weighing system when it comes to holocast?

Imran A. Jan 09, 2015 11:14pm

What is the point of using Facebook if you don't agree with the creator's policies. I think we are being hypocrites if we want to use Facebook, but don't agree with it's policies. Cross over to another social media. When enough number of people will cross over, Facebook will lose it's power. Why complain, just act!

Irfan Jan 09, 2015 11:16pm

Some hindu's commented in favor of 'freedom of speech' in the comments section. I wonder how they would feel if their religious figures were lampooned publicly by facebook and international media. They could'nt even handle Aamir Khan's juvenile attempts at lampooning their deities in the movie PK and started to indict him of terrorism lol.

As for mark zuckerberg he is just an ordinary jew with the illuminati behind his back he cant think or act by himself a more powerful group is pulling his strings.

And for those of you saying that 'jewbook' doesnt ban anti-semetic comments my whole account was banned for posting such comments. Those who advocate freedom of speech cant take it when the same freedom is used against them.

Bayravin Jan 09, 2015 11:16pm

@Merchant, why are the minorities ratios keep decreasing if the minorities can freely live and exercise their religious freedoms in Pakistan?

khanman Jan 09, 2015 11:30pm

why dont i see such extremist in pakistan while living here for almost 34 years and above all i belong to a province which is considered as extermist and the city which is 30km away from afghanistan (arial distance) why i haven't come-across exteremist

NASR Jan 09, 2015 11:32pm

@Zubair Ahmad Why you didn't asked him on this question on twitter

ALi Jan 09, 2015 11:42pm

@someone Anyone who thinks being offensive to others is somehow freedom is insane as well.

bozo the clown Jan 10, 2015 12:51am

So like many people like to share porno over facebook, its freedom of expression sharing nude stuff for many people so why is it banned on facebook?

Raju Jan 10, 2015 01:21am

@Irfan see news or youtube etc and you will know that Supreme Court and media and the people of india stood by pk. It was neither blocked nor anything. Watch on tv how Arnab grills Hindu nationalists in this.

But for your story I see everyone opposing facebook. Guys please learn to be tolerant. God is not a human who can be insulted. It's you who things that way. Take words as words only. Allah or his messenger is to be taken as eternal. They don't have material body so they don't have. Offence happiness etc. if you understand me you will know why pk was made in the first place. The purpose was to aware people not offend. You guys are educated don't think like the extremists.

vham Jan 10, 2015 01:22am

@Asim Mark is a well know Atheist.

N USA Jan 10, 2015 01:24am

@Rizwan ..He is stating the facts...He doesn't need to cook it up!! Mere information

vham Jan 10, 2015 01:25am

@yasir Contrary to popular belief, In most of western world there is no restriction on speech. You can criticize Jews or deny holocaust. Only in Germany, there is a law against denial of holocaust, as they have historical reasons.

vham Jan 10, 2015 01:36am

@Moona Because , if there was no dissent, we would all still be saying world was flat and praying to some sea monsters(this might not have been bad).

Goggy Jan 10, 2015 01:38am

Nothing surprising ...

Rashid Sultan Jan 10, 2015 01:40am

@Ali The facebook community will sorely miss you.

A shah Jan 10, 2015 01:40am

This man is the best. Respect brother.

vham Jan 10, 2015 01:50am

@Riaz Holocaust or Genocide means systematic destruction of a certain group of people based on their race, religion, or citizenship. Eradication can take place through outright murder, forcible conversions, rape, or removing all children from that group and bringing them up in another group. Holocaust or Genocide were interchangeable and meant the same until middle ages. Today, the word Holocaust is used exclusively to describe the mechanized killing of 6 million European Jews as well as 10 million other ‘undesirable’ peoples during WW2.

Holo-caust -> Whole Caust-> Whole burn -> Kill all

Juan Jan 10, 2015 01:50am

@Ali who cares.

Anwar Siddique Jan 10, 2015 01:54am

Why do people think a few words or cartoons can bring Islam down? I don't know about the Europe but we dicuss the holocust in the US. There are also plenty of anti-jewish stuff. It all falls under the freedom of expression. You may not like what I say and you have the right to peacefully protest.

truth Jan 10, 2015 01:54am

this article goes on to show SO many people are anti jews here and spew hatred against them on fb! self admissions!

prada Jan 10, 2015 02:01am

Irfan totally agreed.Even denying the holocaust is a crime in countries like France. Hypocrites.

Khurram Jan 10, 2015 02:35am

@Jor El What about writing anything holocaust???

Indian Dalit Jan 10, 2015 02:35am

@Gaurav Arya , if I try to express my free speech right and express doubts on holocaust, it will be immediately removed from FB, try it your self if you don't believe.

Kamal Jan 10, 2015 03:01am

The point is, the point is, Facebook like Youtube is just a medium. Just as the Internet is a medium. Don't blame their founders/owners. Criticise and chastise the content providers.

mango Jan 10, 2015 04:00am

@Irfan oh get over this Hindu muslim nonsense n learn to hv debate based on rationality. .....enough

Zubair Jan 10, 2015 05:07am

I think we should be very careful in taking the liberty of expression in such highly sensitive issues and must not be offensive for safety and peace.

Nerry Jan 10, 2015 07:48am

@Malik good for you. why did u have it in the first place?

Jay Malik Jan 10, 2015 09:24am

@Malik ... Thank you so much. Pakistanis should also boycott immigrating to USA

Umer Jan 10, 2015 09:52am

As if in US peoples have not got a right to do what they wish?! Filing an application with court is people's right. Decision by court is what the law and rationality speaks. Mark should learn the very fact of democracy before speaking about freedom of speech.

Akbaruddin Jan 10, 2015 10:53am

@Merchant Why? Have you thought about it? Think honestly, apply logic and you will know why. Unless you self-realize what is wrong with Pakistan, you will not understand this issue. No amount of logical and factual argument from others, numerous thoughtful articles posted in this very paper will not be able to make you accept the fact which is staring at your face.

Adam K? Jan 10, 2015 11:22am

@yasir Yes, Sir! But holocaust is constantly discussed and covered. Few countries, like Germany, forbid the DENIAL of the fact that holocaust ever happened. There's a difference. There are perhaps more anti-Semitic (i.e. anti-Jewish) people in the West than there are anti-Muslim. At least to date. As barbaric incidents like the one in Paris mount, perhaps anti-Muslim hate will overtake anti-Semitic hate. The one thing that people do not make clear is this: If you are a citizen of a Muslim Majority country and you hear of an anti-Islamic incident in another country which grants the privilege of free speech, even hateful speech, you can rant all you want where you live, but you cannot take action in that "offending" foreign country to try and avenge the offense (just as the jihadis tried to do by going to Denmark to kill the Danish cartoonist). That is you cannot expect to impose your views on others (6 Billion non-Muslims) in a diverse world. Period. If you don't like Facebook's policy, don't use it! That will show Zuckerberg your dissent.

Adam K? Jan 10, 2015 11:44am

@Jay Malik I won't say all Pakistanis, but only those who do not like religious, racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity of any kind and cannot tolerate the practice of unfettered free speech and other freedoms. (I suppose this goes for anyone from non-Western, non-Christian countries, especially those who do not want to assimilate and do not like the Western values and culture. Their growing numbers - due to higher fertility rates and immigration - in the ghettoes of France, UK, Germany, Belgium, North America, Australia is a ticking time bomb. It is like a second nation waiting to be born and demanding a country of their own within the host country.)

pmrao Jan 10, 2015 12:39pm

@Ahmad what about your feelings when 160 people are massacred in Mumbai where are your feelings ahmed.you have suddenly become principled when the snake started biting you

Sam Jan 10, 2015 12:49pm

@Zubair Ahmad .... Facebook is full of anti Jews pages. Don't spread lies, check yourself first

dr khan Jan 10, 2015 12:58pm

i don't understand, why would someone prefer freedom of expression over hurting the sentiments of a billion population!

the yawar Jan 10, 2015 02:45pm

extremist!? that was his constitutional right i guess

LS Jan 10, 2015 06:59pm

@Riaz No . Conspiracy theory has no bounds and you can express and believe what YOU want but what you choose to believe may or may not be correct. For a change produce an evidence that refutes his claims and if you do that consistently world will start believing you.

LS Jan 10, 2015 07:01pm

@Moona Because a satire by nature talks about things that is wrong in the world or society in general and forces you to think and correct.

zak the supreme Jan 10, 2015 07:17pm

@Saj king khan can yáll educate the ones that perpetrate violence? answer no

Lalit Jan 10, 2015 08:31pm

@Irfan,and how do you think Pk became the highest grosser of all times in India ? Aamir being a Muslim actor dared to lampoon Hindu deities and Hindus loved the movie....Aamir is yet to be threatened or touched by a Hindu fidayeen,though India is being ruled by a Hindu nationalist govt.nor does he fear his consequences.only a jolterhead would ask for further proof of tolerance in India.

neat Jan 10, 2015 09:27pm

Mr zuckerburg, by attaching 'Pakistan' with 'death sentence' only helps the obscurantists. I hope you would focus on the bad guys, not stereotype the whole country.

aky Jan 10, 2015 10:21pm

@dr khan because there are other 5 billion who value freedom of speech more doctor.

A. Mangal Jan 10, 2015 11:43pm

@Gaurav Arya. There is jail time waiting in entire Europe should you say holocaust did not happen under freedom of speech for your information. I condemn strongly what has happened in France, however freedom of speech under democracy is highly selective and a misnomer for you information!

A. Mangal Jan 10, 2015 11:51pm

@pmrao . How many killed in Gujrat rio? You show lapse in memory?

Raziq Jan 11, 2015 12:11am

The biggest social network’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg expressed the threats he received from an extremist who belongs to Pakistan. The extremist threatened to have Mark sentenced to death, after social network denied to ban ridiculing and insulting content about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Adding to it, he revealed that threats were received just after two days of Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, leaving 12 people dead – including prominent & well-known cartoonists. Full News: http://blog.galaxosoft.com/facebook-refused-to-ban-offensive-content

A. Hyder,Ph.D. Jan 11, 2015 04:27am

@kp Officially it does not. But it never publishes any material deemed to be anti-symetic too.

A. Mangal Jan 11, 2015 07:53am

@Adam K? For your information, should any one denies holocaust faces jail time per European Union Laws just like British historian David Irvin (do not agree with him at all) was sentenced 3 year jail time by government of Austria not long ago! Therefore, it would be wrong to state on the surface even Europe has freedom of speech granted Hitler committed the most heinous crime against humanity! Agree 12 lives lost in France is terrible tragedy and we condemn absolutely. However I don't see any single soul coming out of civilized Europe condemning continuing loss of lives in Syria in hope to change regime, false war in Iraq and else where in the name invasions of the past! Do you know how many Muslims got killed in just collateral damage "Alone" and those are sub-human soul too of less colour? Should you have any figure on those poor souls lost if can get out of UN, please do share! Please learn to lament on all races including colonies of Africa as to what has happened there during past 100 years including how you treated both Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi! So, no race card should come out you please!

Komal S Jan 11, 2015 08:02am

@Amin Ansari Sorry i doo not agree Pakistan is at forefront in the war against this mindset. At best you have been selective. Honest introspection is still missing in Pakistan after Peshawar.

Komal S Jan 11, 2015 08:08am

@Nauman I can't believe what you are saying, it is not the same. In this world there are going to be many articles against all religions. If you guys believe in a fair society, please start your preaching in most part of the Islamic world first, where the minority religion is abused by the majority and the Government in power everyday. Maybe that will be a good start.

Komal S Jan 11, 2015 08:20am

@Irfan PK(an average movie in my my opinion) is biggest bollywood bluster in history and that should explain how Indians received it. Last i heard it is a great hit in Pakistan too. Let us assume somebody in Pakistan makes a similar movie on the Blasphemy law in Pakistan, do you think it will be a box office hit in Pakistan? We all know what happened to Salman Tasir? The fanatics can't even let his supporters pay homage on his anniversary day. Let us not compare the extreme right wing in Pakistan and India and also the impact of religion in both countries. We Indians would like to give Gold medal on both counts.

Salman Khan Jan 11, 2015 10:42am

Bad impression of Pakistan to Mr. Zukerberg, the boss of facebook.com

Nitin Gulhane Jan 11, 2015 10:49am

@Irfan That was a nonsensical comment. PK is on its way to break all records already because of enormous mass support it received in India.

Salman Jan 11, 2015 11:25am

"Umar Khan" it is shameful that being a Pakistani you are supporting the actions of Facebook to let disrespectful pages on Islam be allowed on Facebook and telling Mr. Mark that he is "doing a great job". I am sorry but not many Pakistanis will share the same views as you. I feel that I am adequately progressive as well having lived outside Pakistan for last 13 years and having studied in US for many years also but not to the extent where I will support anyone humiliating someone's religion through objectionable material which hurts their feelings. Why can't we just keep religion away from social media. And for our Indian friend below @Guarav Arya, please do a google search and you will find enough evidence where anti-Jew pages which were believed to be 'offensive' were removed by Facebook.

gary Jan 11, 2015 04:33pm

@neat True, but the whole country is not much better as some of the comments show.

Adam K? Jan 12, 2015 02:57am

@Kamal And do not forget all these "social media" (to begin with the Internet, then Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Email, Smartphones, etc.) are creations of Americans (with Briton Timothy Berners-Lee's critical invention of the worldwide web) because they have the freedom to get a good education and freedom to think and invent with few or no restrictions. No subjects are forbidden, including religion. What inventions have come out of Pakistan or any other Muslim country recently?

Adam K? Jan 12, 2015 03:00am

@Thinking Indian Well, you just put criteria around the neck of free speech. Free speech is an end it itself. Period.

sharjil Jan 12, 2015 03:13am

Amir Khan gets away with lampooning many religions, appeasing the bjp crowd as it is seen as an equivocal action against all. Salman Khan not so long ago was not allowd to portray an indian hindu deity. So at best, India is highly selective in its freedom of expression. And yes, anything offensive and exclusively targeting hindus would trigger riots in India....no doubt about it. As for social media, a famous footballer was recently forced to remove a cartoon lampooning jews and publicly apologise (on twitter mind you, not fb), so freedom of expression is a red herring designed to dupe dummies into thinking everything is just a.o.k. in their world.

Sajjad Khan Jan 12, 2015 03:11pm

We shpould have freedom of speech as stated in the US constituion, but there should be a provision to book the hate preachers everywhere.

BTW Jan 13, 2015 01:17am

@aky so you think one should start bullying them in the name of the so called freedom of expression