Facebook Group's Challenge Enrages Muslims

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A well-known social networking site is in the middle of a fight between religion and free speech.

Pakistan, a Muslim country, has banned Facebook because of a user-based group on the site encouraging members to draw pictures of Islam's prophet, Mohammad. Any depiction of Mohammad is strictly forbidden in the Muslim faith.

Last month, makers of the controversial cartoon South Park were threatened for putting the prophet in the show's skits. Comedy Central censored the episodes as a result.

That censorship, however, led one Facebook user to jokingly speak out -- eventually forming the "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day!" group. So far, more than 100,000 have joined the group and some 10,000 drawings have been posted.

This week, Pakistani Muslims rallied against the group and most were willing to die for the cause.

"We are here to show that we can sacrifice our lives for our prophet Mohammad," one protestor said.

Backlash over drawing the Muslim leader is nothing new. In 2005, deadly protests broke out in Muslim cities after a Danish cartoonist published a picture of the Mohammad in a newspaper.

More recently, Swedish artist Lars Vilks published a picture of the Muslim prophet as a dog. Muslim groups now have a bounty on Vilk's head. Just weeks ago, his house was burned down and he was attacked while giving a speech.

The Facebook group started off as a joke, but it's clear that Muslims are serious when it comes to this tenet of their faith.

So far, Facebook has not stepped in to ban the group.

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CBN News
Erick Stakelbeck

Erick Stakelbeck

CBN News Correspondent

Erick Stakelbeck is a sought after authority on terrorism and national security issues with extensive experience in television, radio, and print media. Stakelbeck is a correspondent and terrorism analyst for CBN News.  Follow Erick on Twitter @Staks33.