Google blocks access to videos of anti-Islam film


Google blocked YouTube users in Singapore from viewing clips of an anti-Islam film that has incited violent protests across the Muslim world, acting on a request by city authorities.

Attempts to access the low-budget Innocence of Muslims film on the Google-owned video-sharing website resulted in a message reading: “This content is not available in your country due to a government removal request.”

Google could not be reached to comment, but it has also blocked access to clips of the film in Muslim-majority neighbours Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Ministry of Home Affairs cited “security concerns” as the reason behind the request to Google in a press statement released Wednesday.

“The film Innocence of Muslims has sparked off violent protests and riots that resulted in deaths and injuries in many parts of the world, including several countries in our region,” the ministry said in the statement.

“The continued circulation of this film is likely to cause disharmony or feelings of ill-will between different groups in Singapore,” it added.

Singapore has a predominantly Chinese population with minority races including Malays, who are mostly Muslim, making up 13.4% of its population of over five million, according to government data.

The city-state experienced racial riots in the 1960s and clamps down hard on anyone seen to be inciting communal tensions. — AFP

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