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Indonesia Demands YouTube Drop Koran Film

From our friends at CNS News:

YouTube Warned to Remove Koran Film

By Patrick Goodenough
April 02, 2008

(CNSNews.com) – The government of the world’s most populous Islamic state says YouTube has two days to take down a Dutch lawmaker’s provocative film on the Koran or it will block access to the popular video-sharing Web site…

In Indonesia, a former Dutch colony, Information Minister Mohammad Nuh told a press briefing in Jakarta Tuesday he had sent a letter to YouTube demanding the film, "Fitna," be removed. If it did not comply, he said, the government in cooperation with Internet service providers would block the site.

As of early Wednesday afternoon Indonesian time, attempts to view at least one earlier-available upload of the movie on YouTube brought up a message saying, "This video has been removed due to terms of use violation."

But the film has been uploaded on YouTube by multiple users and can still be found with a simple search in both its English and Dutch versions…

Wilders first uploaded Fitna late last week on a British video-sharing site, LiveLeak, where several million views were recorded before the company took it down, citing threats against its staff.

LiveLeak later lifted the suspension, saying it had tightened security measures, only to have Wilders himself withdraw the film, saying he planned to edit it because of copyright infringement complaints, and would upload an amended version later…

In a third consecutive day of small-scale protests in Indonesia, Muslims demonstrated outside the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday, some of them calling for Wilders to be killed for insulting Islam, according to the official news agency Antara.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who has banned Wilders from entering the country, urged Indonesians to remain calm, but also said world leaders had a moral obligation to prevent religious or cultural defamation.

The Dutch government has repeatedly distanced itself from the film, while noting that the country’s constitution protects freedom of expression. It has posted statements to that effect on the Web sites of a number of its diplomatic missions, including the embassy in Jakarta.

But Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), a party with strong Islamic credentials that supports Yudhoyono, said that unless the Netherlands apologizes to the world’s Islamic countries, Muslims everywhere should boycott Dutch products (similar calls have been made in neighboring Malaysia and other Muslim countries.) …

Last December the 57-member Islamic bloc succeeded in getting the U.N. General Assembly to pass a first-ever resolution on the "defamation" of religion.

And last week in Geneva, as Fitna hit the Internet, the U.N.’s Human Rights Council passed an OIC-led resolution expressing concern about attempts to identify Islam with terrorism, and urging countries to pass anti-defamation laws to protect Muslims.

Even more controversially, the council on Friday also amended the mandate of a special investigator on the freedom of expression, requiring him now also to report on cases "in which the abuse of the right of freedom of expression constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination."

Further, it adopted another amendment to the mandate — put forward by Cuba — referring to the importance of media reporting information "in a fair and impartial manner."

The U.N.’s freedom of expression investigator is a Kenyan jurist, Ambeyi Ligabo.

The change to his mandate came two weeks after he delivered a report to the 47-member council in which he voiced concern about attempts to expand the scope of defamation laws beyond the protection of individuals, for instance to cover religion.

At the time, some Islamic member states reprimanded Ligabo, suggesting that he was not taking the religion issue sufficiently seriously…

The council’s amendments to the freedom of expression mandate drew strong criticism from several NGOs.

Press freedom advocacy group Reporters Without Borders called the changes "dramatic" and said the growing influence of the OIC in the Human Rights Council was "disturbing."

"All of the council’s decisions are nowadays determined by the interests of the Muslim countries or powerful states such as China or Russia that know how to surround themselves with allies," it said

And Human Rights Watch said the changes to the mandate "clearly calls into question the very essence of media freedom and independence." …

It will be amazing if Google does not cave (some more).

As the article notes, at least for the moment there are still numerous versions of the Mr. Wilder’s film up on Google/YouTube, including this one:

Still, all of this reveals a tremendous entrepreneurial opportunity for some brave souls with a server and a lot of bandwidth.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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