YouTube blocks Mohammad-mocking video clip in Egypt, Libya
San Bruno, CA, United States (4E) – YouTube has temporarily blocked the viewing in Egypt and Libya of a movie trailer that mocks Islam’s Prophet Mohammad following violent protests and deadly attacks on U.S. consulates in the two countries sparked by the video clip.
Google Inc., which owns the video-sharing website, issued a statement Thursday saying it will not remove the 14-minute video clip from the “Innocence of Muslims,” which portray Mohammad as a womanizer and homosexual, on grounds that it is not offensive in other countries and does not violate YouTube rules.
In the same statement, the search engine giant also expressed condolences to the families of those killed by Muslim mobs enraged by the Arabic version of the video. Protesters attacked and set fire on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday killing U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other consular officials.
On Thursday, at least one protester was killed and at least a dozen others were hurt when security forces opened fired at protesters who stormed the U.S. embassy compound in Sanaa, Yemen.
Meanwhile, authorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan also blocked the viewing of the video to prevent attacks on U.S. troops and embassy workers. Khurram Rasheed, a senior Pakistani police official, also told AFP on Thursday that security has been tightened at the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.
“Innocense of Muslims” was reportedly produced and filmed in the U.S. by Sam Bacile, whose number was traced by reporters to a home in Cerritos, California occupied by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55.
Nakoula had denied he is Bacile, also the name of the person who posted the video clip of the movie on YouTube in July.
On Wednesday night, Nakoula, called the police to report a disturbance in the neighborhood, referring to reporters gathered outside his home, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore.
Steve Klein, a Hemet insurance agent and anti-Muslim activist, was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying he fears for Nakoula’s life as Muslims he angered by his film may try to kill him.