Brawl Over Islam on Facebook

September 10, 2007


Source: The New York Times

The social networking site Facebook from afar can look a lot like college, with cliques and the familiar range of personalities. In another imitation of college life, the Facebook campus is wrestling with the contentious issue of speech codes.

The latest concern centers on a group with a crude title denouncing Islam that had more than 750 members at last count. While the group takes pains to say it has nothing against Muslims, who “can be and usually are peaceful and respectful,” it asserts at the start: “The Quran contains many lies and threats. Islam is false, no god exists, and someone should say that loud and clear.”

In the month or so since the group was created, the reaction has been building across Facebook. As of the weekend, more than 58,000 Facebook members had joined a group that said that unless the anti-Islam group was removed, “we r quitting Facebook.”

Facebook declined to comment on Friday on the subject of hate speech or on what steps had been taken.