Dhaka: Bangladesh has lifted a ban on social networking site Facebook after it removed “objectionable” content about the Prophet Mohammad and the country’s political leaders, the telecoms regulatory agency said on Sunday. Facebook was blocked last week after publication of caricatures of the Prophet that hurt the religious sentiments of the country’s majority Muslim population.
“The ban on Facebook has been lifted late on Saturday after the authorities removed the objectionable contents from the sites,” said a senior official of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
Facebook was barred by a court in Pakistan, also overwhelmingly Muslim, because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammad, but was unblocked last week.
Hundreds of protesters marched through Dhaka demanding action against Facebook while users said the government should have blocked specific links instead of blocking the whole website.
A man was arrested in Dhaka for posting “obnoxious” images of the country’s political leaders, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia.
Facebook has become hugely popular among Bangladeshis, especially educated young people.
The publication of cartoons of the Prophet in Danish newspapers in 2005 sparked deadly protests in Muslim countries. Around 50 people were killed in 2006 demonstrations over the cartoons.
Any representation of the Prophet Mohammad is deemed un-Islamic and blasphemous by Muslims.