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identity. Meanwhile,  it  emerged  through  a  BBC  investigation  that  a  senior  imam  at   Glasgow  Central  mosque  –  Scotland’s  biggest  place  of  worship  –  had  used  social  media   to  praise  a  Pakistani  terrorist.  Maulana  Habib  Ur  Rehman  used  social  network   WhatsApp  to  indicate  his  support  for  Mumtaz  Qadri,  who  had  been  executed  in   Pakistan  after  murdering  a  local  politician  who  opposed  the  country’s  notoriously  strict   blasphemy  laws.     1.4  Legal  context     Article  2  of  The  United  Nations  Declaration  of  Human  Rights,  proclaimed  in  1948,   declares  (emphasis  added):     Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Articles  19  and  20  are  also  pertinent:    

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

The  2015  Freedom  on  the  Net  report4  lists  Pakistan  among  the  21  countries  which   routinely  censor  or  block  access  to  material  ‘considered  insulting  to  religion’.  Although   in  a  number  of  these  instances  blasphemy  laws  are  ostensibly  provided  to  defend  all   religions,  in  practice  the  nation’s  ‘dominant’  faith  may  receive  special  protection.  This   can  restrict  the  ability  of  members  of  minority  faith  groups  to  express  themselves   freely,  particularly  through  social  media.  In  Pakistan,  the  report  notes,  ‘YouTube  has   been  completely  blocked  …  since  September  2012,  when  an  anti-­‐Islamic  video  sparked   unrest  around  the  Muslim  world.’     Conversely,  faith  communities  in  the  country  have  been  able  to  use  social  media  to   connect  with  like-­‐minded  activists.  In  December  2014,  when  an  influential  cleric  in   Islamabad  refused  to  categorically  condemn  a  terrorist  attack  on  a  school,  moderate   Muslim  protestors  gathered  outside  his  mosque  distancing  themselves  from  his   extremist  views  and  demanding  an  apology.  The  call  to  protest  originated  through   Tweets  which  incorporated  the  #ReclaimYourMosque  hashtag5.                                                                                                                     4

Freedom  on  the  Net  2015  (Freedom  House,  October  2015)    Contribution  to  the  report  of  the  Office  of  the  UN  High  Commissioner  on  Human  Rights  on   ‘How  to  create  and  maintain  the  space  for  civil  society  to  work  freely  and  independently’   5

Putting Your  Faith  in  Social  Media  

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Putting Your Faith in Social Media  

Research findings regarding the social media expression of people of faith. By David Giles, Web and Social Media Manager at The Salvation Ar...

Putting Your Faith in Social Media  

Research findings regarding the social media expression of people of faith. By David Giles, Web and Social Media Manager at The Salvation Ar...