Thousands of Facebook users have welcomed the killing of Pakistani politician Salman Taseer by joining and “like”ing Facebook Groups and Facebook Fan Pages created on behalf of the assassin.
Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan’s most populous and powerful province, Punjab, was shot to death by his own bodyguard – Mumtaz Qadri – at a shopping center in the nation’s capital, Islamabad. Governor Taseer was an outspoken critic of religious extremists and recently drew anger from Islamists for his opposition to blasphemy laws that led to a Christian woman – Aasia Bibi – being sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.
Propakistani.pk reports that within hours of the assassination, over 2,000 Facebook “Fans” joined Facebook groups and “Like“ed Facebook pages that praised the killer. Soon, other pages started popping up on Facebook wherein several facebook users expressed their sympathies and praised the killer Mumtaz Qadri for assassinating the very person he was hired to protect!
Raza Rumi, an influential pakistani blogger, worries that this Facebook phenomena is sending the wrong message.
“The emergence of Facebook pages eulogising the assassin of Governor Salmaan Taseer and praise from Islamic clerics for the killer have outraged liberal Pakistanis, who today said tolerance and space for discourse on religious and political issues was shrinking.”
Although Facebook was quick to take down the Fan Pages, news ones are starting to crop up every few hours. This is a problem that won’t go away, and unless Mark Zuckerberg and his band of “hackers” take serious measures to address it, Facebook will likely turn into another highly effective propaganda medium for terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.