World’s prime video sharing and uploading website, YouTube is facing revulsion and hatred of Muslim countries and of many Non-Muslims states as well for last few months after the trailer of the movie Innocence of Muslims was uploaded on the site. Pakistan also being an Islamic state showed great disappointment towards Google policies. Innocence of Islam is shaping up to be the most influential movie of the year in a twisted way. A ridiculous 14 minute YouTube trailer for the anti-Islamic film sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world, as a result of these protests YouTube was banned in many countries including Pakistan. The video clip is still on the website and Google has decided not to remove it. Media is independent and so are the people, but it doesn’t mean that they have the right to target any of the religion, belief, faith, culture, etc. This is not the first time when Islam is being targeted, but many times atheists had done some really unforgettable and even unforgivable acts. Pakistanis including the most practicing Muslims, the moderate Muslims and even non-Muslims have recorded great protests. Numerous rallies, press conferences and mass meetings have been reported since the revelation of the movie.
YouTube is currently one of the biggest websites including thousands of videos from all over the world. Every kind of video tutorials and informative uploads are available on this website and are easily accessible too. Unregistered users can watch videos, while registered users can upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users at least 18 years old. Just as we can’t deny that YouTube has become the greatest source of acquiring information of any type, we also can’t neglect the hurtful attitude of YouTube when the contents target moral, religious and ethnic values. The x-rated, offensive, indecent and especially pornographic contents are easily accessible by just mentioning yourself 18+. This internet site has really become a danger to the society. Severe destructiveness in the society is increasing rapidly day by day. Due to the immoral blasphemous contents, the ratio of depredation is also growing like a fungus on the minds and souls.
For past few years the method of studying has totally changed. Instead of spending couple of hours in libraries and tuitions, students prefer studying by just touching their screens. Google has become a Giant search engine of the World and claims to have the knowledge of all kinds. After the official forbiddance of YouTube, people are facing difficulties in acquiring assistance in many issues. A number of short films, tutorials, academic work are easily available on the site. Not only students but other users who access YouTube for watching different programs, films, documentaries, television shows, etc. are also facing difficulties because there is no such awesome site like YouTube. Before this humiliating movie trailer there were other major ethical issues regarding this site.
Even after the nine month ban, the situation is still the same. Google has refused to remove the blasphemous content from YouTube, saying that the process of localization of YouTube in Pakistan will take time as Google is looking for country’s laws and building partnerships with local content creator. There is no such localized version of YouTube in Pakistan and Pakistani users access the global site which runs according to the US policies and laws. According to localization the YouTube interface suggests which local version should be chosen on the basis of the IP address of the user. In some cases, the message ‘This video is not available in your country’ may appear because of copyright restrictions or inappropriate content.
Islam is an all-embracing way of life. It extends over the entire spectrum of life, showing us how to conduct all human activities in a sound and wholesome manner. It does not allow a hierarchy of priests or intermediaries between Allah and human beings, no farfetched abstractions and no complicated rites and rituals and Pakistan being an Islamic state should take each and every decision according to the Islamic code of life. There should be a proper filtration system for any disrespectful, irreligious, immoral and profane content. A proper barrier should be made on every irreverent site.
Blocking the whole website is not the proper solution because a vast of number of users is approaching banned sites and specially YouTube through different VPN and applications. So, if YouTube is going to be localized than it should remain banned with proper check up so that none can access it with any app or VPN. The civil society should keep an eye on this event and voice it’s deep concerns on the issue in media, press and present a set of viable conditions upon which YouTube could be opened and warn the government of the repercussions if the site fails to protect moral and ethical values. Pakistan’s new Information Minister Anusha Rehman recently warned Google that they might ban the entire site and all of its contents if ‘blasphemous and objectionable material’ is not removed from YouTube.
As of September 2012, countries with standing national bans on YouTube include China, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. Now Pakistan should make a clear agreement with Google in terms of privacy and searching. Access to such humiliating contents must be completely blocked. Opening of YouTube at this stage with the present content is likely to create law and order and security issues across the country. The ban should continue in the larger interest of the state until the removal of all the atheistic, profane and blasphemous contents. Pakistan was made for the sake of practicing Islam correctly and we cannot flourish until we follow our religion fully, completely and unconditionally and our religion doesn’t allow us to cooperate with irreligious and hurtful setups.