Pakistan blocks anti-Islam YouTube video

Pakistan blocks anti-Islam YouTube video

Summary: Government blocks access to anti-Islam movie clip on YouTube and other sites, saying it "deeply hurt" the feelings of Pakistanis and Muslims worldwide; protests against movie rage across the country.


The Pakistan government, on Saturday blocked access to snippet from an anti-Islam movie which triggered demonstrations across the country in retailiation to the film.

According to The Times of India on Saturday, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had blocked pages on YouTube and other video sharing sites which had a clip from the controversial movie. They said they had been directed by the country's information technology (IT) ministry to block the video.

Rehman Malik, interior minister said the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority had been asked to ban the anti-Islam movie trailer across the country. No one is allowed to project hate content against Prophet Muhammad, he had told reporters.

The country's Foreign Office had also said the movie "deeply hurt" the feelings of Pakistanis and Muslims around the world. 

Massive protests raged across the country on Sunday against the anti-Islam film--made in the United States-- with protesters burning U.S. flags and effigies of President Barack Obama, AFP reported.

This is not the first time the country has blocked online content. The PTA had blocked Twitter from orders by the IT ministry in May after the microblogging site allegedly refused to remove an offensive post, before subsequently restoring it. In February, the government had blocked 13,000 "obscene" sites and called it a "serious issue" that the government is trying to address at the moment.






Topics: Censorship, Government Asia

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • Crazy . . .

    Crazy. There's probably loads of anti-Christian videos on YouTube, but you don't see us getting violent about it -_-.

    I don't see why they think their religion has to have some sort of special treatment.

    Hey, people mock religions all the time. Even Atheists (who might consider themselves non-religious) are probably mocked. Get over it.
    • you are wrong

      show me any link which hate criticism on Christian and tell me the person who made this ? Muslim will shoot him/or her 1st because we do respect Jesus and he is also a Messenger of God .
      but tell me why you not caught producer of film " Innocent Muslim " ?
      Rana Khan
  • I don't agree...

    I don't agree with most of what Ross Douthat has to say, but I think he's fairly on-target in his NY Times Op Ed piece today. The "Innocence of Muslims" video was probably less a cause of violence in the Islamic world than an excuse for it. The truth is, these are factionalized nations with little history of democratic governance. In many cases, the country's dictator is simply one region's strong-man, who managed to out-strongman the other region's strong-men. And he's always got to keep a watchful eye on his power-hungry rivals. And in many cases, these power hungry rivals include clerics with mass followings. When one of these clerics decides that it's a good time to "make hay" perhaps as part of a long-term power-play strategy, there is no absence of "offenses against Islam" to choose from, either on the Internet or elsewhere. It's no big surprise that the latest outbreak of violence happened in Libya. The country is still at a very early stage in its transition to popular rule, and as such very vulnerable to populist demagogues who might want to de-rail that process and install themsleves as Supreme Mullah over a strict Islamic Republic.

    Seeking to blame "Islam itself" is short sighted. These sorts of power struggles are as old as mankind itself, and religion is merely a tool, a weapon in the vast arsenal of crowd mobilization techniques that would-be rulers have always deployed. Islam is radicalized because these nations are poor, under-developed, with economies that under-serve their populations. Christianity, or the Hindu religion, or any other religion would likely become just as radicalized in the hands of the clerics who eye the halls of power with lustful hearts and impure intentions.