Facebook Backtracks on Removal of Post on ‘Charlie Hebdo’ Attack by Hamza Ali Abbasi

By David Cohen 

RemovedAbbasiPostHistory650Facebook once again found itself between the proverbial rock and hard place after its removal of a post related to last week’s terrorist attack in Paris on satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo by Hamza Ali Abbasi, an actor and director in Pakistan.

Abbasi posted (unedited)

A french Muslim police officer dies doing his duty in the face of 2 mislead Muslim youth killing falsely in the name of the religion of peace, Islam. Yes, even my blood boils when someone insults my Prophet (S.A.W) … But that does not give individuals the right to kill. In Islam, only “institutions” are allowed to kill for justice, not for revenge or hate. But west needs to understand too that freedom of expression includes criticism, disagreement or even rejection of faiths or ideology … but should not and must not allow “insult.” Would it be “freedom of expression” if I brand black people as Niggers or if I say Hitler was a messiah? Would I not be branded a racist or a anti semitic? As Muslims all the world are condemning this incident … the west needs to rethink and fix its definition of “Freedom of Expression.” Otherwise … someone from almost 2 Billion of us Muslims will go ballistic and kill unjustly.

The post was deleted, and Abbasi was temporarily banned from accessing his account. After the ban was lifted, he posted the photo below of the deleted post, writing:

Facebook decides to punish me for my opinions by warning me after deactivating my profile. Freedom of expression lesson 101 ….


Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to a post by Facebook user Angelic Munni questioning whether Abbasi’s post should have been deleted, commenting:

I don’t think this should have been blocked. Our team might have made a mistake. Justin, can you look into this?

The Justin Zuckerberg was referring to was Facebook vice president of media partnerships and global operations Justin Osofsky, who wrote:

As Mark mentioned, we made a mistake in taking this down. We try to do our best, but sometimes make mistakes. We apologize for this error, and hope that the author will repost it as we are not able to restore it from our end. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

However, the apology was not enough for Abbasi, who posted (unedited):

Its nice of Mr. Zuckerberg to accept his organization’s mistake, however, i highly doubt if it was a “mistake” at all. Nonetheless, an evidence that when enough righteous people stand for “truth”, it always triumphs. Thank you everyone for the rigorous support. I hope someday the pseudo liberals understand that “Freedom of Speech” is not a “universal ethic”, RESPECT is a universal ethic. Disagree, argue, deny, reject, debate, But insulting and making a mockery out of anyone is infact against the idea of Freedom of Speech and is also a rejection of the universal ethic of RESPECT. And might i also emphasize, no matter what, nothing allows anyone to take law into their own hands. Islam does not allow individuals to kill out of hatred or revenge. So either you stand with the biased and flawed pseudo liberal idea of the so called “Freedom of Speech” or the universal ethic of “RESPECT FOR ALL”, you decide.

Abbasi later posted the image above, chronicling the entire incident, and wrote (unedited):

We need not fight the battle of swords……but the battle of minds…the battle of words…the battle of ideas. IQRA…..!!!! …For these very times…my Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) said that the “Ink of a scholar is holier than the blood of a martyr”……

Readers: Would you have reported Abbasi’s post?