Egypt to Block YouTube and Controversial Film Innocence of Muslims For At Least One Month

On 26th May, 2018, the High Administrative Court of Egypt brought back a 4-year-old case to play as they finally succeeded in blocking the website YouTube throughout the country, for a whole month. This ban was initiated against a short film uploaded on YouTube titled the Innocence of Muslims which became an extremely controversial topic ever since it was released in 2012 because of the insulting way Islam’s Prophet Muhammad was portrayed in the film. This resulted in many Islamic countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh imposing temporary or yearlong bans on the movie and even YouTube itself.

The 13-minute film was released in California by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula under the pretext of a ‘trailer’, but it was actually an entire anti-Islamic short film which portrayed the Prophet in a very negative light. This caused a lot of unrest among the people all over the world, and many injuries due to fights between two religions were also reported. Despite a lower court firing a case against the film and acquiring a lawyer to speak for banning the movie as well as YouTube in 2013, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority then appealed against it, citing causes of difficulties which they might have had to face in that path.

However, as of Saturday, the NTRA has revived the 2013 lawsuit and has officially announced a statement worldwide imposing the full-time ban on all the links relating to Innocence of Muslims, and a month-long temporary ban on the entire website itself. Despite appealing for the removal of the movie from the YouTube database itself, Washington had outright refused to do so, citing the United States’ constitution which gave every individual the right to free exhibition of thoughts in any form without any government interference on all multimedia platforms.

Thus, the final decision made by the High Administrative Court of Egypt to ban YouTube for a month will remain unchallenged.


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