Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Indonesia to block YouTube over anti-Islamic film ( FITNA Movie )

Thursday, April 3, 2008 (Jakarta)
Indonesia will start blocking YouTube at the end of this week if an anti-Islamic film that has sparked protests here is not removed from the file-sharing site, the government said on Thursday.

The information ministry has written to Internet service providers telling them to prepare to block access if YouTube fails to remove the film, made by the far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders.

The government wrote to YouTube on Monday asking it to take down the film, which provoked a violent demonstration outside a Dutch consulate building here on Wednesday.

''If there is no response, then we will do it (block the site) from inside the country, with the cooperation of ISPs,'' said Sukemi, a ministry official, adding that the government would wait ''until the end of this week'' for a response from YouTube.

The 17-minute film, ''Fitna'', combines images of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the 2004 Madrid bombings with quotes from the Koran, Islam's holy book.

It has drawn protests from Muslims across the globe, including in Indonesia, a former Dutch colony and the world's most populous Muslim nation.

The government said it had received no response from YouTube, which last week said it strives to balance freedom of expression with the standards set by its video-sharing community.

''The diversity of the world in which we live - spanning the vast dimensions of ethnicity, religion, nationality, language, political opinion, gender, and sexual orientation, to name a few - means that some of the beliefs and views of some individuals may offend others,'' the firm said after the film's release a week ago.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono this week urged Indonesians not to resort to violence over the film, banned screenings and barred Wilders from entering the country.

The protests here have mostly been peaceful, but dozens of members of a Muslim student group on Wednesday attacked a Dutch consulate building, burning a flag and breaking down the gates.

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