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Egypt Blocks YouTube Over Anti-Islam Film

A court in Egypt orders that YouTube be blocked for a month for hosting the "Innocence of Muslims" film.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/10/2013, 5:50 AM

Egyptians demonstrate against anti-Islam film in Alexandria
Egyptians demonstrate against anti-Islam film in Alexandria
AFP photo

A court in Egypt on Saturday ordered that video-sharing website YouTube be blocked for a month for hosting an anti-Islam film that triggered deadly outrage across the Muslim world last year, AFP reports.

The court ruled that the authorities must take measures to block access to the site for a month, after a complaint by an Egyptian who accused YouTube of being a "threat to social peace" by putting the U.S.-made film on line.

The "Innocence of Muslims" film depicted the prophet Mohammed as a buffoon and pedophile, and sparked a wave of angry anti-American protests across the Middle East in which more than 30 people were killed.

There was no immediate comment on the ruling on Saturday from the government spokesman in Cairo.

YouTube, a subsidiary of U.S. Internet giant Google, has been blocked in Pakistan since December for refusing to heed Islamabad's call to remove the controversial video.

The site simply decided to restrict access to the film for Internet users in several countries, among them Egypt, Libya, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, which had threatened to block YouTube in the kingdom unless it denies access to the film.

On January 29, a Cairo court upheld death sentences passed on seven Egyptian Coptic Christians in absentia for their involvement in making the film.

The accused, including the movie's director, are currently living in the United States.

The director, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, was sentenced in November to a year in jail for probation violations.

Nakoula, who was arrested in September, also goes by the name of Sam Bacile, Nicola Bacily and Mark Basseley Yousseff. While initial reports claimed that “Bacile” is Jewish and an Israeli, this was later proven to be false.

Several Muslim clerics have offered rewards to anyone who kills Nakoula.