Indonesia blocks access to YouTube, My Space over anti-Islam film
Indonesian internet companies blocked access to video and file-sharing websites on Tuesday, following a government order to prevent people from watching an anti-Islam film created by a Dutch politician.
The companies, the country's main internet service providers, said they had temporarily blocked YouTube, MySpace, Google Video and other file-sharing sites.
The government ordered the providers to prevent customers from accessing the sites last week, following the March 27 posting of the 15-minute video titled Fitna — the Qur'anic term for "strife" — by anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders.
The film intersperses images of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, at times showing graphic footage of bloody bodies, and even a beheading of a Caucasian man by men garbed in black with quotations from the Qur'an, Islam's holy book.
The film ends with text saying Islam "seeks to destroy our Western civilization" and a caricature of Muhammad, his head drawn in the shape of a bomb that explodes into a crack of thunder and lightning.
The Indonesian government said the film "could disturb relations between the faiths." President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has condemned the film and there have been several small street protests against it.
When it was posted, there were fears the film could spark violent protests similar to those over the cartoon caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005.
The Information Ministry said access to the sites will remain blocked until the film is removed.
"We are hoping for understanding from internet users," said spokesman Suprawoto. "This is not just an issue for Indonesia; this is a universal one."
With files from the Associated Press