You Tube Block Libya, Egypt Access to Islam-Offensive Film

World | September 13, 2012, Thursday // 14:07|  views

There have been clashes in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, triggered by anger over a US film portraying Prophet Muhammad as a religious cheat and a womanizer. Photo by EPA/BGNES

YouTube have decided to block access in Libya and Egypt to the US-made film offensively depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The technology giant Google, which owns the video clip sharing site, hopes the move will calm tensions in the Middle East, where many Muslims are finding the film blasphemous and belligerent.

In a statement, the company says the clip is not in any way in violation of their corporate rules, but is taking into consideration the complicated situation in Libya and Egypt.

The film, titled "The Innocence of Muslims" portrays Prophet Muhammad as a religious cheat and a womanizer. It depicts an imaginary attack of Muslims on a Christian family.

On Tuesday, an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, said to be triggered by the film, killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, 3 other officers, and several Libyans. Stevens is believed to have died from smoke inhalation.

The grounds of the American Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, were also attacked Thursday by a crowd of protesters angered by the film. There have been clashes in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, continuing in the early hours of Thursday morning, and protests in Tunisia as well.

The authorities in Afghanistan banned all access to You Tube over fears of escalating tensions.

The filmmaker, who identified himself in a telephone interview with The Associated Press as Sam Bacile, said he is an Israeli-born, Jewish writer and director, living in California.

According to CBS, there is no evidence that Bacile, who is said to be into hiding, is a real person. In an interview for the TV channel, a man, Steve Klein, who presented himself as a consultant for the film, has said the director is concealing his real name while the aim of the creators has been to expose radical Islamists.

Klein rejected the information the director is Israeli-born, stating he did not know his real name, but it was definitely not Sam.

Earlier on Thursday, US officials said the probe is now focusing on finding out if the assault was a planned act by an Al Qaeda-inspired organization to mark the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attack on the US, since it happened on the same date. The announcement came on the heels of reports that the attack was executed by 20 trained militants.

Security has been increased at US embassies and consulates around the world in response to the rising tensions.

US President Barack Obama has vowed to work with the Libyan authorities to bring those behind the Benghazi attack to justice.

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Tags: You Tube, Google, Egypt, Afghanistan, sanaa, Yemeni capital, Yemen, Cairo, Barack Obama, Libya, ambassador, attack, Prophet Mohammed, Benghazi, Christopher Stevens, consulate, Prophet Muhammad, The Innocence of Muslims


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