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YouTube Blocks Video Blamed for Islamist Murders

YouTube Blocks Video Blamed for Islamist Murders

By JAKE COYLE
AP Entertainment Writer
NEW YORK
YouTube has blocked a video attacking Islam’s prophet Muhammad in Egypt and Libya, where angry protests were sparked by outrage at the video.

Ultraconservative Muslims enflamed by the video stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Tuesday and replaced an American flag with an Islamic banner. Later Tuesday evening, protesters in Libya burned down the U.S. consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi, killing the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three members of his staff.

The 14-minute video is a trailer to an amateurish, low-budget movie titled “Innocence of Muslims,” which depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse. Muslims find it offensive to depict Muhammad in any manner, let alone insult the prophet.

YouTube has elected to leave the video on its website, saying it doesn’t violate its policies, but has blocked access to it in Egypt and Libya. The Google-Inc. video site took the unusual step Wednesday of publicly commenting on the video, a practice it typically eschews.

The video was uploaded on July 2 by a YouTube user going by the name Sam Bacile. After sitting dormant and largely unwatched for two months, it was dubbed into Arabic and excerpts gained airplay on TV networks in Egypt, enraging ultraconservative viewers.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned the attack in Benghazi and ordered increased security to protect American diplomatic personnel around the world. He pledged to “bring justice to the killers who attacked our people.”

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