Services to Google’s YouTube website have reportedly been taken down by the government of Pakistan following the former’s refusal to remove a movie video made in the US, which is a spoof on the life of Prophet Mohammed.
Enraging the Islamic world, the anti-Islam movie, called ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was termed ‘blasphemous’ by Pakistan officials and was seen as a possible medium for a deadly attack on the US embassy in Libya and protests in Egypt, India and Bangladesh.
In a statement by Raza Parvez Ashraf, Prime Minister, Pakistan, he said “Blasphemous content will not be accepted at any cost.” The site was blocked following orders of Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).
Users in Pakistan who tried to visit the famous video-sharing site were welcomed with a shut down message that said the website contains ‘indecent material’.
The access to the movie clip, which caused a rage, is now blocked in Egypt, Libya, India, Indonesia and Afghanistan, which has more than a quarter of the world’s Muslim population of 1.6 billion.
Trying to clear its stance on the matter, Youtube said the video was made inside the community guidelines. The firm also said that due to the sensitive situations in Egypt and Libya, the access to the movie clip was voluntarily blocked.
However, the governments of India, Malaysia and Indonesia asked Google to block the video from YouTube. People trying to access the video in India get a message ‘This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request’.
YouTube services are also blocked in Afghanistan. However, YouTube made no comment on its domain being blocked in Pakistan.
Following the protest over the website, thousands of Pakistanis took the streets, burning effigies of Barack Obama and the US flag. As many as 40 students were arrested. Many Muslims also protested near the US Consulate in the northwestern city of Wari on Sunday, where at least one demonstrator was killed, while several others were wounded. Till now, a total number of 19 people have died in violence over the anti-Islam movie.