KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 — Malaysia has asked Google to block local access to anti-Islam film “The Innocence of Muslims” from YouTube — a popular video-sharing site owned by the giant search engine — following in the footsteps of Indonesia in the wake of widespread public anger from Malaysian Muslims who form 60 per cent the country’s 28 million population.
The 14-minute controversial clip, said to portray Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a sex-crazed womaniser, is believed to be made by an Egyptian Coptic Christian and has sparked worldwide protests and resulted in the death of the US ambassador to Libya, among others.
Google Malaysia confirmed that an official request by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has been received, The Sunday Star reported today.
"We have clear community guidelines, and when videos breach those rules, we remove them. In addition, where we have launched YouTube locally and we are notified that a video is illegal in that country, we will restrict access to it after a thorough review,” said Google Malaysia in a statement.
MCMC chairman Datuk Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi told The Star: “We have already communicated with Google, asking them to take the clips down.”
Google and MCMC are reportedly in talks over the next steps to take down the video clip.
Google had on Friday said that it will not take down the controversial video from YouTube that has been available for viewing since July this year, saying that the clip does not violate its own guidelines.
YouTube’s terms of service does not allow hate speech, which refers to content that promotes hatred against individuals..
The company reportedly did not remove the video as it is said to portray Islam and not Muslims in a bad light.
But YouTube has blocked access to the video in India and Indonesia because of breaches of laws in the two countries.
It has also stopped users in Libya and Egypt from accessing the video due to the “very sensitive” situation.
It is the duty of YouTube to remove “The Innocence of Muslims” film, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim was reported saying yesterday.
He also reported by state news agency Bernama as having said that taking down the video from Youtube is not “within our technical capability”, but added that MCMC is “legally bound to take adaptive and precautionary steps” to block access to the clip.