Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has sent a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg asking him to block anti-Islamic content.
In his message, Khan said that “increasing anti-Islam” encourages “hatred, extremism and violence … especially through the use of social media.”
This message comes one day after the Pakistani Prime Minister accused the French President, Emmanuel Macron, of “attacking Islam.”
Facebook already has a policy of removing hate speech from its platforms.
Facebook defines hate speech as a “direct attack on people” based on protected characteristics that include race, ethnicity, national origin and religious affiliation, through “violence and dehumanization of speech” or the promotion of “harmful stereotypes.”
In a message posted on Twitter, Khan referred to a recent decision by Facebook to ban any content that denies or distorts the Holocaust.
He called for a similar policy with regard to anti-Islam comments.
“Taking into account the widespread offense and defamation of Muslims on social media, I also ask you to prohibit anti-Islam speech and hate speech against Islam on Facebook similar to the ban related to the Holocaust,” he said.
He added, “Hate messages must be completely prohibited, as one cannot send a hate message against some and is considered unacceptable, while it is acceptable against others.”
And Sunday, the Pakistani prime minister accused the French president of “attacking Islam.”
His comments came after Macron praised the French history professor who was killed after he showed students in class caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Macron said the professor “was killed because the Islamists were targeting our future,” but that France “will not abandon our cartoons.”
Khan said in a tweet: “It is regrettable that (Macron) chose to encourage anti-Islam by attacking Islam instead of terrorists who commit violence.”
Khan, who is under pressure from a coalition of opposition parties, is known for favoring Islamist voices in order to strengthen his electoral base.
And resorted to several shops in the countries of the Middle East to boycott French goods in protest against Macron’s defense of the right to display the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The Islamic religion prohibits drawing pictures of the Prophet Muhammad, and this act is considered offensive to Muslims.
But the French state applies secularism and considers it a key part of its national identity, and the state believes that freedom of expression should not be restricted to protect the feelings of a particular community.
The French Foreign Ministry described the boycott calls as “baseless,” adding that they should stop immediately.
This is not the first time that Pakistan has asked Facebook to help investigate the content posted on the site.
And in 2017, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on the social media giant to investigate “blasphemy against Islam” content – it is not clear what this means, but in the past accusations of blasphemy have ranged from cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad to inappropriate references. To the Quran.
But critics said blasphemy laws, which allow the death penalty in some cases, are often used to crush minorities.