The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) has urged YouTube to unlock a channel run by the late Islamic scholar Dr Israr Ahmed’s foundation. The channel had videos of the scholar talking on various topics ranging from the day of judgment to the socio-economic order envisaged by the Holy Quran. The channel was blocked by YouTube after Jewish groups complained that the late scholar’s videos carry a message of ‘hate’ against Jews and his views will exacerbate the dislike between Jews and Muslims in the west and might as well lead to violence. The videos they were referring to had only discussed the role of Muslims and Jews at the end of time. The PTA has stated that the channel’s videos provided information and explanations for various topics related to religion and life as it we know it today. To block such a channel is an infringement of free speech which the west so often advocates for. It is also wrong on YouTube’s part as it raises questions on the limits placed on online expression. Although social media do need some checks, balances and control, it is absolutely wrong to block a channel due to a complaint from one group only without hearing the other side or probing into the matter further. Moreover, this clearly shows the hypocrisy that is sewn into the very fabric of western society. When hate speech against Muslims and Islamophobia is openly advocated on several online platforms no one bats an eye. When Israelis illegally occupy the homes of Palestinians and post videos and pictures online of their annexation and hate, their accounts are not blocked.
It is not that YouTube or any other social media platform uphold the tenets of free speech and blocks any hate towards any group, they only do what suits them and what is good for them. It is unfortunate that Muslims have to face such hate from western society, by only explaining their point of view. By stating that those videos will incite hate among Jews and Muslims, the Jewish group insinuated that Muslims are always ready to take up arms and attack the next person they see. It is clearly their Islamophobia that always takes precedence over reason and allows for such measures which are never taken when the roles are reversed. The hypocrisy of western society becomes more and more evident with each passing day as they venture into limiting the space for anyone whose views are not aligned with theirs. The PTA may or may not be able to get YouTube to unban the channel, but the problem lies deeper than just one channel. It is a whole agenda to quiet down the voices of Muslims, especially those who are revered by those living in the west.