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Google rejects calls to remove anti-Islam clip

Google shares were marginally down Wednesday morning on the Nasdaq.

Google shares were marginally down Wednesday morning on the Nasdaq.

Published Sep 17, 2012

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London - Google has rejected a White House request to remove from YouTube an anti-Muslim clip that has sparked violent protests across the Islamic world.

The internet company, which owns YouTube, said the video is widely available on the web and is “clearly within our guidelines”.

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But it has decided to censor the clip from the film – which depicts the Prophet Mohammed as a fraud and a philanderer – in several countries.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said that the turmoil across the Muslim world is likely to continue in the days ahead – but it appears to be levelling off.

Staff have been told to leave the US embassies in Sudan and Tunisia. Protests continued in several Muslim countries on Sunday, but they were not on the same scale as Friday’s disorder. The fiercest clashes with police took place outside the US consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.

The controversial organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir organised a protest outside the US embassy in London on Sunday. Hundreds took part in the demonstration in Grosvenor Square, and police attended, but it appears to have passed off peacefully.

The protests against the American-made film, Innocence of Muslims, began on Tuesday in the Egyptian capital, Cairo. Then the US embassy in Benghazi was stormed and Chris Stevens, ambassador to Libya, and three other Americans were killed. On Friday, after escalating protests against US embassies and other Western symbols, the White House urged Google to reconsider its decision to keep a trailer for the film online.

But Google said: “This video – which is widely available on the web – is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube. However, we’ve restricted access to it in countries where it is illegal, such as India and Indonesia, as well as in Libya and Egypt given the very sensitive situations in these two countries.”

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US officials are investigating whether the film’s producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, an Egyptian Coptic Christian living in Southern California, has violated the terms of his prison release. He is on probation after being jailed for bank fraud. - Daily Mail

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