Bangladesh makes headline across the world for consecutive second day. A Bangladeshi should be proud if the second headline was a positive one. Unfortunately it’s a negative one and reminds the readers’ around the world the about to forgot other one.
If you have searched Google with the keyword ‘Bangladesh’ in last 24 hours, you should have known the headline. It’s about the Facebook. Almost all the major news organizations in the world reported the news: Bangladesh bans [specific] Facebook fan page for religious content. Yes, the high court in Bangladesh yesterday asked the government to ban five Facebook fan page and a website as those hosted religious content that ‘hurts’ followers of a particular religion.
Well, social media with, just like any other innovation, has positive notions as well as negative ones. You can use it to humiliate attack or blackmail others. A teacher of Dhaka University, Batool Sarwar, along with another principle of a college filed a writ petition in the morning on 1st March. The court then ordered to ban those pages and the website. Lawyer of the petitioner didn’t care to disclose that pages-website to media.
The DU teacher is concerned about religious teaching institutes’ reform in Bangladesh. In an interview, published in 2008, she asserted, “Even the utmost amount of reform of madrassas will not produce a change in [madrassa students’] ideology.” She added that unless the West, in particular the United States, alters its rhetoric and acknowledges the injustices in the Muslim world, in Palestine and elsewhere, and engages in fair dialogue there will be no ideological change.
The petitioner could have followed few steps before their move to the court. They could have reported the pages to the Facebook authority. If Facebook had failed to respond to their objection, they could have contacted the police. In case of the website they could file an objection to the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. Did the petitioner tried to stop those pages-website by these means. We don’t know yet.
I believe if they had done so, they did not need to move to the court. People only in this sub-continent are showing their love to the court in social media issues. The offended should always be defended, that does not mean you have to ban something to save others.
And by the way, online is online, it’s not the print. So banning some pages-website does never ensure your safety. The online is always open to all.