YouTube blocks anti-Islam video in India

2012-09-14 13:10
Image taken from YouTube video.

Image taken from YouTube video.

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New Delhi - Video-sharing website YouTube has blocked access in India to an anti-Islam film that surfaced in the United States and has since sparked deadly protests in the Muslim world, Google said on Friday.

US-based search engine Google, which owns YouTube, did not say whether it acted on its own or was asked to remove the content by the Indian government.

"We do, at times, block content in response to a court order or other valid legal process. We have blocked access to the YouTube page in the Indian domain," a Google executive, who asked not to be named, said.

YouTube had earlier this week offered to "temporarily" restrict access to the film in Libya and Egypt, the hotbed of protests, because of the "very difficult situation" in both the countries.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have already blocked access to the movie, which was condemned as "inhuman" and "provocative".


Indonesia, where most of the 240 million population practise a moderate form of Islam, has also demanded that YouTube remove the film from its website.

Protesters have targeted US embassies for the film, which portrays followers of the Islamic faith as immoral and gratuitously violent.

Four people died in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Thursday as violence flared outside US embassies over the low-budget film.

The deaths followed the killing of US diplomat and three colleagues in Syria on Tuesday, after a mob stormed the consulate in Benghazi.

India is home to a Muslim population estimated at about 150 million, according to census data.

Meanwhile, More than 350 Muslim fundamentalists and their supporters staged an anti-US demonstration in Jakarta on Friday, spewing anger at America over the anti-Islam film.

Call for expulsion of Americans

Outside the US embassy in the Indonesian capital, the protesters - men and women with children in tow - carried banners that read "We condemn the insult against Allah's messenger", and the Qur'anic verse "There is no God but Allah".

A speaker from the pro-Caliphate organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir that organised the protest, told the crowd: "This film insulted our prophet and we condemn it. The film is a declaration of war."

The crowd shouted back: "Allahu akbar!" (God is greatest), while police clad in riot gear stood guard nearby.

Another speaker declared: "The US does not deserve to stay here," as the crowd roared that Americans be expelled from the world's largest Muslim nation.

Protests have erupted since Tuesday outside US diplomatic missions in several Arab and Muslim states against the low-budget movie.

Washington has sought to keep a lid on the demonstrations by spelling out that the controversial film which sparked the violence was made privately by a small group of individuals with no official backing.

Punished by death

As the Hizb ut-Tahrir protesters dispersed, another group of 100 demonstrators from the country's minority Shi'ite Muslims took their place, shouting "death to America", and demanding that the film's director be executed.

"Under Islamic law, the film director must be punished by death. We will keep protesting until the US government bans the film, apologises to all Muslims and prosecutes the film director," Khadijah, one of the Shi'ite protesters, said.

Jakarta police spokesperson Rikwanto, who goes by one name, said about 400 policemen had been deployed to guard security around the US Embassy in Jakarta. A strong police contingent, including dozens in riot gear, stood guard before the embassy grounds.

The embassy posted a new security message for US citizens on its website, saying that in light of the protests "we strongly encourage you to follow good personal security practices, maintain a heightened situational awareness, and remain vigilant of your surroundings at all times".

Read more on:    google  |  youtube  |  us  |  egypt  |  indonesia  |  libya  |  prophet protests  |  internet  |  religion  |  north africa

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