Afghans ban YouTube

13 September 2012 - 02:39 By Reuters

Afghanistan banned the YouTube website yesterday to stop Afghans watching a US-made film insulting the Prophet Mohammed that sparked protests in North Africa and the killing of the US ambassador to Libya.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the film in which Mohammed is portrayed as a philanderer and a religious fake, saying its makers had done a "devilish act" and that insulting Islam was not allowed by freedom of speech.

US pastor Terry Jones, who had inflamed anger in the Muslim world in 2010 with plans to burn the Koran, said he had promoted Innocence of Muslims, which US media said was produced by an Israeli-American property developer. Jones, a pastor in Florida whose latest stunt fell on the anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, triggered riots in Afghanistan in 2010 with his threat to burn the Koran.

Many Muslims consider any depiction of Prophet Mohammed as offensive.

Aimal Marjan, general director of Information Technology at the Ministry of Communication, declined to say if the order to close YouTube in Afghanistan was to prevent violence or to protect his countrymen from being offended.

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