Egypt Court Bans YouTube For 30 Days

A Cairo court ordered the Egyptian government to block access to YouTube for 30 days because it provided access to “Innocence of Muslims,” a 14 minute movie trailer that led to protests last summer that resulted in over 50 deaths across 20 countries. The court, presided over by Judge Hassouna Tawfiq, ruled that the film was “offensive to Islam” because of its characterization of Muhammad as a pedophile, womanizer and fraud. Egypt’s new constitution prohibits insults against “religious messengers and prophets.” The injunction against the film was filed by Mohammed Hamid Salim, who argued that “Innocence of Muslims” posed a threat to Egyptian security. Although Google, YouTube’s parent company, has previously declined to remove the video entirely, it did restrict access to the video in Egypt, Libya and Indonesia on the premise that the video broke laws specific to those countries. As of Sunday afternoon, the ban against the entire YouTube file sharing platforms had not been enacted. Judge Hassouna Tawfiq reportedly threatened to ban other social media websites that shared the video as well. It remains unclear when the ban will be imposed or whether it will be repealed based on precedent involving related rulings.

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