VIDEO - A Cairo court over the weekend ordered the government to block access to the video-sharing website YouTube for 30 days for carrying an anti-Islam film
that caused deadly riots
across the world.
Judge Hassouna Tawfiq ordered YouTube blocked for carrying the film, which he described as "offensive to Islam and the Prophet (Mohammed)." He made the ruling in the Egyptian capital where the first protests against the film erupted last September before spreading to more than 20 countries, killing more than 50 people.
The 14-minute trailer for the movie "Innocence of Muslims" portrays the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, a central figure to Islam, as a religious fraud, womanizer and pedophile. It was produced in the United States by an Egyptian-born Christian who's now a US citizen.
new constitution includes a ban on insulting "religious messengers and prophets." Broadly worded blasphemy laws were also in effect under former President Hosni Mubarak prior to his ouster in a popular revolt two years ago.
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Google last year had declined requests to remove the video from the website, but restricted access to it in certain countries, including Egypt, Libya and Indonesia, because it said the video broke laws in those countries.
At the height of the protests in September, YouTube was ordered blocked in several countries, including Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah issued an order blocking all websites with access to the anti-Islam film in the conservative kingdom.
Two other cases filed against the government and Google are pending in Egyptian courts. One lawsuit calls for a complete ban on Google's search engine and demands the company pay a billion fine.
Last year, an Egyptian court convicted in absentia seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, who allegedly promoted the film, sentencing them to death on charges linked to the anti-Islam film.
The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants were outside Egypt and unlikely to ever face the sentence.